The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released updated recommendations for when children should receive the hepatitis A vaccine. The new recommendations appear in the July 2020 edition of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) in an article titled, Prevention of Hepatitis A Virus Infection in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2020.
CDC Recommends Vaccination Against Hepatitis A at Age 12 to 23 Months
In the article, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that children receive the hepatitis A vaccine between the ages of 12 and 23 months. The ACIP indicates that the hepatitis A vaccine should now be administered in a two-dose series, with at least six months between doses.
For children who did not receive two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine prior to their second birthday, the ACIP recommends a “catch-up” vaccination any time before the child’s eighteenth birthday. It recommends the same two-dose series with the doses administered at least six months apart. For children who received one dose of the hepatitis A vaccine between 12 and 23 months of age, the ACIP indicates that a second dose can be administered at any time prior to age 18 (as long it is administered no sooner than six months after the original dose).
For adolescents age 18 and older, the CDC’s Recommended Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule indicates use of the combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine, Twinrix®, as either a three-dose or four-dose series. The CDC’s hepatitis A vaccination recommendations for adults remain unchanged.
CDC Hepatitis A Vaccine Recommendations for Specific Populations
In addition to its general hepatitis A vaccine recommendations for children and adolescents, the ACIP has also updated its recommendations for children, adolescents and adults in certain populations. These recommendations include:
- Vaccination of anyone over the age of one who has been diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- Vaccination of anyone with chronic liver disease.
- “Vaccination of pregnant women who are . . . at risk for [hepatitis A virus (HAV)] infection during pregnancy (e.g., international travelers, persons who use injection or noninjection drugs . . . , persons who have occupational risk for infection, persons who anticipate close personal contact with an international adoptee, or persons experiencing homelessness) or for having a severe outcome from HAV infection (e.g., persons with chronic liver disease or persons with HIV infection).”
- Vaccination for health care workers and others who provide services to adults in settings with a high risk of HAV infection, such as drug clinics and group homes.
For information on proper administration of the hepatitis A vaccine, you can read: “Know the Site and Get it Right” Campaign Promotes Vaccine Administration Safety.
For a list of approved hepatitis A vaccines, you can read: Which Vaccines are FDA-Approved?
Contact Vaccine Injury Attorney Leah V. Durant
Leah V. Durant is a vaccine injury attorney who represents individuals and families in claims under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). If you or your child has been diagnosed with an injury or illness linked to the hepatitis A vaccine, you can call 202-800-1711 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation.
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Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.