What is hepatitis A?Hepatitis A is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver. Your symptoms begin a few weeks after the virus enters your body. Although not all people may show symptoms, others may experience very severe symptoms. Fortunately, people can rarely die from hepatitis A. Symptoms of hepatitis A include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal discomfort on the upper right side beneath your lower ribs (by your liver)
- Clay-colored bowel movements
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine
- Joint discomfort
- Yellowing of the skin and whiteness of the eyes (jaundice)
- Severe itching
- Exposure to contaminated food and drink
- Close contact with infected individuals or people who are infected but have no symptoms
- Drinking contaminated water
- Having sexual intercourse with an infected person
What is hepatitis B?Hepatitis B can lead to serious liver infections. Fortunately, most people with hepatitis B recover completely, even if they have severe symptoms. You should know that there is no medicine for hepatitis B. You can only get the necessary immunity by getting the vaccine. Therefore, if you are infected, you should only take some precautions to prevent spreading the virus to others. Symptoms of hepatitis B include: The symptoms of hepatitis are similar to hepatitis A. This virus can be transmitted by:
- Sexual contact: If you have unprotected intercourse with someone infected with the virus, you will also become infected.
- Sharing contaminated needles: Hepatitis B-infected syringes and needles can be a source of virus transmission.
- Mother to the fetus during childbirth: Pregnant women with hepatitis B may pass the virus to their baby during childbirth.
- People who come in contact with human blood, such as health care personnel
- Liver scar or cirrhosis
- liver cancer
- Liver failure
- Other problems such as kidney disease and inflammation of the blood vessels
Who should get the hepatitis A vaccine?According to the CDC recommendation, the following people should get the hepatitis A vaccine:
- Children aged 12 to 23 months
- Children aged 2 to 18 years old
- International travelers
- Men who have sex with other men
- Homeless people
- People who have HIV
- People with chronic liver disease
Who should get the hepatitis B vaccine?The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for:
- People whose sexual partner has hepatitis B.
- People who have multiple sexual partners
- Men who have sex with other men
- People whose family members have hepatitis B.
- People who share their needles and syringes.
- Healthcare personnel who are in contact with body fluids and blood
- Victims of sexual assault
- People who travel to areas where the rate of hepatitis is high
- People with chronic liver disease, kidney disease, hepatitis C, HIV, and diabetes
- People who work in correctional centers
The side effects of hepatitis A and B vaccines:Symptoms of mild to moderate hepatitis vaccine injection include:
- Appearing swelling, redness, or soreness at the injection site
- Headache, tiredness, and loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
- Pale skin
- Fast heartbeat
How long does hepatitis vaccination last?It can be said that vaccine-induced immunity decreases over time. But researchers have proved that this immunity can last up to ten years. Most healthy people who plan to travel get enough safety by receiving a dose. Injecting the next two or three doses results in long-lasting protection.
Proper use of Hepatitis A VaccineThe hepatitis A vaccine is usually injected in two doses. The second dose is called the booster dose. The booster dose of hepatitis A vaccine is given 6 months to 18 months after the first dose. The hepatitis B vaccine is typically given as an injection in the arm. It is administered as a three-dose series, with the second dose given one month after the first dose and the third dose given six months after the first dose. After receiving all three doses, the hepatitis B vaccine provides greater than 90% protection to those immunized before being exposed to the virus.
Proper use of Hepatitis B VaccineThe hepatitis B vaccine is usually injected in three doses. The next two doses are given 1 to 6 months after the first dose unless your physician tells you otherwise.
PrecautionsHepatitis A and B vaccines are given intramuscularly. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis may occur. Contact your physician if you have the below symptoms after injection:
- Swelling of the tongue and throat
- Trouble breathing
Frequently Asked Questions about Hep A & B
How long does hepatitis vaccines last?
It can be said that vaccine-induced immunity decreases over time. But researchers have proved that this immunity can last up to ten years.
Who should get hepatitis A and B vaccine?
People 18 years of age or older who are at risk due to the job, behavior, or traveling should be vaccinated.
What are the side effects of hepatitis A and B vaccine?
Soreness, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, and fainting are some of the side effects of hepatitis A and B vaccine.
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