Hepatitis A is transmitted through faeces and can contaminate unwashed foods.
Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for some people whose occupation puts them at risk of exposure to faeces (poo/tūtae) or involves food preparation, and for people travelling overseas.
Avaxim is available for purchase as an alternative vaccine to purchasing a Havrix vaccine dose.
Combination vaccines that include hepatitis A:
Axaxim is not funded in New Zealand but is available for purchase as an alternative to Havrix.
Avaxim is recommended but not funded for certain occupations at risk of exposure to faeces or involved in food preparation:
Additionally, the vaccine is recommended for:
Store as per cold chain between 2°C to 8°C. Shake the prefilled syringe before injection to obtain a homogenous suspension.
Avaxim is given as a single dose of vaccine administered by intramuscular injection for children and adults. A second vaccination 6-12 months later acts as a booster vaccination to extend the duration of protection.
It can be administered concurrently with other vaccines, including all the National Immunisation Schedule vaccines. Separate syringes and different injection sites should be used.
The vaccine can be administered at the same visit, using a different injection site, as immunoglobulin (Ig) for persons requiring hepatitis A vaccination for post-exposure prophylaxis.
A serology result of ≥20 mIU/mL is considered to demonstrate immunity to hepatitis A.
Immunisation against hepatitis A protects 9-10 out of 10 people against the disease. Clinical trials indicated that after the second dose, protection lasts for at least 17 years, possibly up to 30-40 years. A recent review concluded that protective antibody levels to hepatitis A could be present for at least 25 year in adults and at least 14-20 years in children following a two dose course of vaccine.
In clinical trials, 15 days after vaccination 88% of healthy vaccine recipients aged 16–50 years and 93% aged 1–16 years were protected against hepatitis A. One month after vaccination 99% of healthy recipients aged 1—50 years were protected against the disease.