HEPATITIS A VACCINE: READY FOR PRIME TIME

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Two new inactivated hepatitis A vaccines are available that confer long-term protection against infection. They are indicated for pre-exposure prophylaxis in persons older than 2 years of age. For one vaccine preparation, Vaqta (Merck and Co., West Point, PA), the recommended schedule for adults is a 1.0-mL (50 U of hepatitis A viral antigen) intramuscular dose initially, followed by a booster dose 6–12 months later. Children 2–17 years of age should receive 0.5 mL (25 U of hepatitis A viral antigen) initially, followed by a booster dose 6–18 months later. The adult dosage schedule for Havrix (SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA) is a 1.0-mL (1440 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA] units) intramuscular dose initially, followed by a 1.0-mL booster dose 6–12 months later. Patients 2–18 years of age should receive doses of 0.5 mL (720 ELISA units). Primary candidates for vaccination are travelers to regions of endemic disease, children living in high-prevalence areas, homosexual males, users of illicit intravenous drugs, persons working directly with nonhuman primates or hepatitis A virus, patients older than 30 years of age with chronic liver disease, and persons who have received a liver transplant or are awaiting one. Seroconversion rates in healthy children and adults exceed 95%. Both vaccines are safe for use in pregnancy. The cost of the vaccine for adult patients is approximately $50 to $60.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles