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Hepatitis A from £49 per dose

Hepatitis A is a viral infection which affects the human liver. The hepatitis A virus is usually ingested via contaminated food or water and is endemic to many countries where sanitation and access to safe food and water is poor.

About the vaccine

PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO A NATIONWIDE SHORTAGE, WE ARE CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK FOR HEPATITIS A.

  • When to get vaccinated: You should get vaccinated at least two weeks before travelling.
  • Course: The course consists of one dose.
  • Boosters: The vaccine protects you for one year. If you have another booster after 6 -12 months, you won’t need any further boosters for 25 years thereafter.
  • How it is given: An injection in the upper arm.
  • Side effects: Side effects can include a high temperature, feeling tired and soreness at the injection site.
  • Children: The vaccine is suitable for children over the age of one.
  • Additional precautions: You need to practise food safety as well as water and hand hygiene while in an area where hepatitis A is endemic.
  • Risk if you contract hepatitis A: Hepatitis A can cause mild to severe symptoms, including fever and digestive issues. It can cause complications such as liver failure.

Prices

Per Dose £49
Doses per course 1
Price per course £49

Out-of-stock information

Please note - we are out of stock for all hepatitis A vaccinations, including:

  • Booster doses as well as first time doses.
  • Occupational vaccinations, not just ones for general travel.

When will you be back in stock?

We expect to be back in stock early next year but due to the national shortage, we can’t know for sure just yet.

Can you recommend another place to get the vaccine?

No - we can’t recommend somewhere else to get a dose of the vaccine as this situation is nationwide. We can only offer the advice below.

Does this mean I can’t go travelling?

Not necessarily, depending on:

  • If you are at high risk - if you have chronic liver disease, immune system problems, or you’re over 60, then we strongly recommend you get a dose of the vaccine before travelling. Please discuss this with your doctor.
  • Where you are going - which country, but also where in that country and what you’re doing, e.g. you are:
    • Staying in big cities.
    • Going to the countryside.
    • Working with children or animals.
  • How many doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine you’ve had in the past:
    • If you’ve already had 2 doses - you are protected for 25 years from your last dose.
    • If you’ve already had 1 dose - according the Public Health England, you can wait up to 5 years for your booster. Check with your doctor or nurse for more information.
    • If you had 0 doses before - you should try and get a dose before travelling, but there are precautions you can take too.

Can I get the vaccine somewhere else?

Because the shortage is nationwide, it will be difficult for most people to get the vaccine. You could ask your doctor or check other travel clinics but there’s no guarantee that a dose will be available.

Is it safe for me to travel without the vaccine?

You can’t guarantee you’ll be safe from Hepatitis A if you don’t get a dose of the vaccine beforehand, but we can suggest some precautions to take to lower your risk of getting the virus:

  • Be strict with food, water, and hand hygiene:
    • Avoid food unless you know it’s not contaminated, e.g. avoid street food.
    • Cook all food thoroughly before eating.
    • Drink only bottled water.
    • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Carry a sterile medical kit with you.
  • Look out for symptoms of Hepatitis A.
  • Get advice from a doctor if you think you might have the virus.

About the vaccine

A hepatitis A vaccine requires one single injection, which should ideally be scheduled to take place at least 2 weeks before travelling abroad. It provides protection for one year, after which you will require a booster dose. If you have this booster dose you won’t need further boosters for 25 years. 

In addition to the hepatitis A vaccination, there are combined vaccination courses for hepatitis A and typhoid as well as hepatitis A and hepatitis B. If you are unsure as to which vaccine is best for you, your Superdrug travel nurse will be able to recommend the most suitable treatment for you.

Side effects

After the injection, your skin around the injection site may harden and you may experience soreness or swelling. This is a very common side effect, along with feeling a little tired after the vaccine or temporarily having a high temperature.

Common side effects

  • headache
  • disturbances of the gut such as diarrhoea
  • nausea
  • vomiting or abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • myalgia
  • arthralgia
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • lymphangitis
  • malaise

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a viral infection, which affects the human liver. The hepatitis A virus is usually ingested via contaminated food or water and is endemic to countries with an insufficient sanitation system and poor access to clean food and water. It can spread rapidly and is known to cause sudden epidemics. 

Which symptoms does it cause?

After an incubation period of 2 - 4 weeks, patients usually develop hepatitis A symptoms such as fever, digestive problems and jaundice. The severity of the symptoms varies in different people and can range from mild to very severe. In rare cases, hepatitis A can lead to complications such as cholestasis (an interruption to bile excretion) and liver failure. According to the World Health Organisation, every year there are about 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A worldwide.

Hepatitis A risk areas

Areas affected by hepatitis A include the South American continent, the African continent as well as most countries in Asia. The hepatitis risk in any area depends on local hygiene practices and the local sanitation system. The hepatitis risk in any area depends on local hygiene practices and the local sanitation system.

The following increase your risk of contracting hepatitis A:

  • poor sanitation
  • lack of safe water
  • use of recreational drugs
  • living in a household with an infected person
  • being a sexual partner of someone with acute hepatitis A infection
  • travelling to areas of high endemicity without being immunised

People living in high risk areas usually contract hepatitis A early in their lives and develop immunity that protects them, which is why large outbreaks in high risk areas are quite rare. However, visitors travelling to these destinations have not previously been exposed to the illness and are therefore at a higher risk of infection.

Preventing hepatitis A

Whenever you travel to areas with an increased risk of viral or bacterial infections, you should follow a few simple rules to limit your exposure to local diseases. Most of these rules are easy to follow and very effective in reducing your risk of hepatitis A. It is best to be careful with foods if you do not know how they have been prepared and cooked. You should only drink boiled or bottled water and wash your hands very carefully after going to the toilet and before preparing food. If you think you have symptoms of hepatitis, always seek advice from a doctor.

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