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Vaccination

Vaccination against hepatitis A is not routinely offered in the UK because the risk of infection is low for most people. It's only recommended for people at high risk.

Who should have the hepatitis A vaccine

People usually advised to have the hepatitis A vaccine include:

Contact your GP surgery if you think you should have the hepatitis A vaccine or you're not sure whether you need it.

Types of hepatitis A vaccine

There are 3 main types of hepatitis A vaccination:

Talk to your GP about which vaccine is most suitable for you. All 3 types are usually available for free on the NHS.

Plan your vaccinations in advance if you're travelling abroad. They should ideally be started at least 2 or 3 weeks before you leave, although some can be given up to the day of your departure if necessary.

Extra doses of the vaccine are often recommended after 6 to 12 months if you need long-term protection.

You can find more information about the various hepatitis A vaccines on the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Side effects of the hepatitis A vaccine

Some people have temporary soreness, redness and hardening of the skin at the injection site after having the hepatitis A vaccine.

A small, painless lump may also form, but it usually disappears quickly and is not a cause for concern.

Less common side effects include: