If you have been potentially exposed to hepatitis A, you should get one shot of vaccine within 14 days of the exposure to prevent disease. This is provided free.
The Hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to protect against hepatitis A infection.
Vaccines are very safe. It's much safer to get the vaccine than to get Hepatitis A.
Over the last 15 years there have been many outbreaks of hepatitis A in Aboriginal communities in BC, and so the hepatitis A vaccine has been offered to Aboriginal children living both on-reserve and off-reserve since January 1, 2012
The hepatitis A vaccine is provided free in BC to people at high risk of infection, including:
The vaccine is also recommended, but not provided free, for people likely to come in contact with or spread the hepatitis A virus, including:
The free vaccine is available form public health units, doctors' offices and pharmacies (for people 5 years of age and older). Anyone who is not eligible for a free hepatitis A vaccine can purchase it at most pharmacies and travel clinics. Services vary across BC.
For more information about the hepatitis A vaccine, including the benefits, possible reactions after the vaccine and who should not get the vaccine, see the HealthLinkBC File: Hepatitis A Vaccine.
Photo courtesy of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. More vaccine preventable disease images
If you're a health care provider looking for information on immunization, please visit the Health Professionals section of the BCCDC website. There you can find clinical resources, immunization courses, print resources for patients and more.
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