Hepatitis A Vaccine for at risk groups

Hepatitis A Vaccine for at risk groups

Free hepatitis A vaccine is currently available for Tasmanians who are at increased risk of getting the disease in Australia.

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis means inflammation or swelling of the liver.  Hepatitis A is an infection caused by the hepatitis A virus.

How is hepatitis A spread?

Hepatitis A virus is in the faeces of an infected person and is spread when the virus from an infected person is swallowed by another person through:

  • eating contaminated food
  • drinking contaminated water
  • handling contaminated objects (eg soiled nappies from an infected person)
  • direct contact (including sexual) with an infected person.

Immunisation provides very effective protection against hepatitis A infection.

Who is eligible for the free vaccine?

The program will continue until the end of April 2020. Tasmanians eligible for free vaccine include:

  • all men aged 16 to 69 years who have sex with men
  • any person who has injected drugs within the past 12 months
  • people who experience homelessness
  • inmates of correctional services.

Where is hepatitis A vaccine available?

Vaccine is available from general practitioners and sexual health clinics. The vaccine is free, but a consultation fee may be charged.

How many doses of hepatitis A vaccine are needed?

Two doses of vaccine given at least six months apart provide long-term protection against hepatitis A disease.

If you have had one dose of hepatitis A vaccine in the past there is no need to start the course again. You only require one more dose for long-term protection.

What else should I ask about?

At the same time, check if you are need, and are eligible for, free hepatitis B vaccine.

Where can I find more information about hepatitis A?

DoH Hepatitis A Disease fact sheet

tasCAHRD (Tasmanian Council on AIDS, Hepatitis & Related Diseases)

Call the Public Health Hotline – Tasmania on 1800 671 738 to speak to a Clinical Nurse Consultant.

29 July 2019