What is the hepatitis A vaccine?
The hepatitis A vaccine protects against viruses that cause hepatitis A infections.
Vaccines can provide protection against a single disease, or can be made to provide protection against more than one disease. Vaccines that provide protection against more than one disease are called combined vaccines.
The hepatitis A vaccine is available in both single and combined vaccine formats. The vaccine you receive depends on your age, your vaccine requirements and the specific vaccine products that are currently available.
Vaccines commonly used:
Who should get the hepatitis A vaccine?
The vaccine is recommended and free of charge for:
- people with long-lasting liver disease (for example, hepatitis B and C)
- men who have sex with men
- injection drug users
- people having sexual contact or living with someone that has hepatitis A
The vaccine is also recommended and available at cost for:
- people who want to protect themselves against hepatitis A
- people traveling to places where hepatitis A is common
- people who work with primates (apes, monkeys)
- people who work in developing countries (for example, the military)
- people in at-risk communities (for example, some Indigenous populations)
Who should not get the hepatitis A vaccine?
- People who have had serious allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine or to a previous dose of the vaccine itself should not receive the hepatitis A vaccine.
Your health care provider will ask you questions about your health before giving you any vaccine. This will help them identify allergies you might have and to safely manage potential allergic reactions.
What are the possible side effects of the hepatitis A vaccine?
You could have mild side effects after being vaccinated, but they usually go away in one to two days. Some people can be allergic to the vaccine, just like they might have a food or medication allergy.
Learn more about common vaccine side effects and what to do about them.
Is the hepatitis A vaccine required to attend school, daycare or to work in certain settings?
No. Children don’t have to be immunized against this disease to attend school or a licensed day care in Ontario (Immunization of School Pupils Act, Child Care and Early Years Act). However, this vaccine may be required in certain workplaces.
Access and update your immunization records.
What else should you know about the hepatitis A vaccine?
This vaccine is publicly funded for certain individuals and available at cost for others. Anyone who meets the publicly funded criteria may get the vaccine for free, no matter where they get it in Ontario (in a hospital, walk-in clinic, health care provider’s office or public health unit).
For a list of publicly funded vaccines in Ontario, see the Ontario Immunization Schedule.
Risks and benefits
Talk to your health care provider about getting vaccinated if you have special health conditions or concerns. Learn more about special considerations before being vaccinated.
Where can you get the hepatitis A vaccine?
- The Health Unit offers this vaccine.
- You may also be able to get vaccinated at your doctor’s office, a walk-in clinic or community health centre. Appointments may be required.
For more information:
- Contact us.
- See our frequently asked questions or send us your question.
- See our list of helpful websites for information about vaccination.