While caused by two different types of viruses, hepatitis A and hepatitis B are almost similar diseases. They cause inflammation in the liver, which can lead to serious complications and can be fatal when not addressed immediately and properly. The good news is there are available vaccines that can prevent hepatitis A and B. There are even combination vaccines formulated to prevent both types. Here are more details on who should get which vaccine.

Who should get Hepatitis A vaccine?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children between ages 12 months and 23 months should be vaccinated. The same is true with infants aged 6 to 11 months who are travelling to a different country. 

Certain groups such as the following are also at risk of developing hepatitis A so they have to get their vaccines. 

  1. Young people through the age of 18 who are residing in states and communities that impose health policies due to high rate of disease
  2. Men who engage in sexual activities with men
  3. People who use illegal drugs
  4. Patients with chronic liver disease
  5. Patients with hemophilia and people treated with blood clotting medications
  6. People working with HAV-infected primates or in HAV research labs
  7. Tourists visiting countries with high rate of hep A
  8. People adopting or living closely with a child from a country where hep A is common

Who should get Hepatitis B vaccine?

According to CDC, all babies should get their Hep B vaccination as newborns. Other people who need to get the vaccine include:

  1. People below 19 who haven’t received the vaccine
  2. Anyone who is in a sexual relationship with someone with hep B
  3. People who are sexually active but are not in a long-term relationship where both partners are monogamous 
  4. Anyone who is being examined or treated for a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  5. Men who engage in sexual activities with men
  6. People who share needles used in drug injections
  7. Anyone who lives with someone with hep B
  8. Anyone who comes in contact with blood or blood-contaminated body fluids
  9. People suffering from end-stage kidney (renal) disease
  10. People suffering from chronic liver disease
  11. People who tested positive for HIV
  12. People living or working in facilities for people with developmental disability
  13. Tourists to regions that have moderate to high hep B rates

Learn more about hepatitis A and B vaccinations by getting in touch with a trusted healthcare service provider such as Medifast Hong Kong.