Vaccination against hepatitis A in children: features and side effects

  1. Vaccination features
  2. Reaction
  3. Contraindications
  4. Complications

Hepatitis A (other names - jaundice, Botkin's disease) is an acute infectious disease of the liver, the occurrence of which is provoked by a certain virus Hepatitis A (other names - jaundice, Botkin's disease) is an acute infectious disease of the liver, the occurrence of which is provoked by a certain virus. It is transmitted through contaminated food and water, with direct contact with the patient. About 10 million people get infected each year.

The disease is not dangerous, but in the absence of medication, timely assistance can develop severe hepatic failure, which can lead to coma and death. In some cases, there is a serious lesion of the biliary tract. Doctors are unanimous in the view that prevention of the disease lies in timely vaccination. Therefore, vaccination against hepatitis A today is a guaranteed and practically the only method of protection against this disease, although it is not mandatory. Doctors recommend it to put children in certain cases when there is an immediate threat of infection.

Vaccination features

Although hepatitis A vaccine for children in many countries does not appear on the mandatory vaccination calendar, all doctors recommend it. It is especially desirable in certain cases when the child has a high risk of infection, namely:

  • before vacationing to the sea, traveling to hot countries (the spread of infection is very wide here, so the chance of getting infected is high): vaccination is carried out 2 weeks before the trip so that immunity can develop in a small body;
  • if there is a person with hepatitis A in the child’s social circle: the vaccination is done within 10 days from the moment of contact with the carrier of the dangerous virus;
  • in diagnosing diseases such as hemophilia or serious liver disease.

Before vaccination, blood is examined for the presence of antibodies in it. If they are, it means that the child has already been vaccinated or has had this disease. In this case, he will not be able to get infected: it is impossible to get sick twice with hepatitis A, since immunity against this infection is produced in the body for life. So the absence of antibodies in the blood is a direct indication for vaccination.

As for age, a vaccine against hepatitis A is placed on a child starting at 1 year. It is produced intramuscularly - most often in the shoulder of the baby. A vaccine alone is usually not enough to develop a lasting, long-lasting immunity against infection. Therefore, after 6-18 months, doctors recommend another injection. Having decided on vaccination, parents should know which reaction of the small organism to this vaccine will be the norm, according to medical data, and which will indicate violations and malfunctions in the health of the baby.



The interest of parents who, before vaccination, want to know how children are vaccinated against hepatitis A is clear, in order to be prepared for surprises and be aware of how to react to a change in the condition of the baby. Most often, no reaction is observed on imported drugs (for example, Havriks vaccine), while domestic drugs (GEP-A-in-VAKV, etc.) can cause side effects such as: for 3–4 days:

  • nausea, diarrhea vomiting;
  • headache;
  • mild malaise;
  • loss of appetite;
  • in the presence of an allergic reaction (itching or urticaria), an antihistamine can be given to the baby (but only with the permission of the doctor);
  • irritability, capriciousness, anxiety;
  • weakness and sore muscles;
  • local reaction at the injection site: redness, swelling, itching, induration, slight soreness, numbness (these symptoms should not frighten and mislead parents: the injection site should not be lubricated or covered with a plaster, but you should not be wetted);
  • temperature increase: it is allowed to give the child antipyretic if the thermometer for several hours shows the mark above 38 ° C.

All these side effects of hepatitis A vaccination are considered the norm by doctors and do not require medical intervention. They have no effect on the health of the child and pass very quickly: within a week maximum. Having noticed these changes in their baby after vaccination, parents should not panic: you need to be patient and wait. Within a week after the injection, these symptoms will disappear, and the baby will be happy and healthy, as before.

If, nevertheless, some of the side effects last too long or are very pronounced than the parents are afraid of, it is better to tell about it at the first pediatrician appointment. After examination, the doctor will dispel doubts and give useful recommendations. But most of the children do not react to the hepatitis A vaccine at all. The stories about the terrible consequences that occur when an anti-hepatitis drug is introduced into the children's organism are often too exaggerated. Complications are extremely rare and only in case of non-compliance with contraindications.



Before being vaccinated against hepatitis A to the child, the doctor examines the presence of antibodies against this infection in the baby’s blood and the identification of contraindications for vaccination. It can not be carried out in the following cases:

  • hypersensitivity (individual intolerance) of the components of the injected drug;
  • acute period of all diseases: at the time of vaccination, the baby must be completely healthy, and this applies including chronic pathologies;
  • bronchial asthma.

All of these contraindications are required to comply with the vaccination against hepatitis A, as otherwise you may encounter the development of pathologies that will become a serious violation of children's health in the future. Since an examination is carried out before vaccination, the risk of complications is minimal, and yet this very fact becomes the reason why parents refuse to vaccinate a baby from this disease.



Among the complications after hepatitis A vaccinations are called:

  • Quinck edema with individual intolerance to the components of the hepatitis A drug administered to the child: this can be fatal if there is no timely help;
  • exacerbation of chronic diseases, slowing the healing process, worsening of the general condition;
  • liver failure;
  • damage to the nervous system: meningitis , neuritis, multiple sclerosis, encephalitis;
  • disorders of the cardiovascular system: vasculitis, low blood pressure;
  • failure of other organs: lymphadenopathy, erythema;
  • coma;
  • death.

Despite the severity of all the above-listed complications after vaccination against hepatitis A, parents should not be afraid of them and, because of this, refuse the necessary and useful vaccination. If your child is at risk, it must be inoculated, so that unwanted infection will avoid a small, not yet formed body. The consequences of the disease for the health of the baby develop much more often than the complications after vaccination.

However, hepatitis A in a child’s body is not only dangerous. Often the child carries the infection in a mild form, asymptomatic, but in the meantime is a carrier of a dangerous virus. Any adult who comes in contact with him can be infected by him at this moment. In an already formed organism, the disease proceeds much more severely, which represents a potential danger, even death. Therefore, it is much more practical to inculcate a baby from infancy and forget about hepatitis A forever.


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