Over 30 million people in the United States are living with chronic liver disease. This includes patients with Hepatitis C, Cirrhosis (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), Fatty liver disease and Autoimmune Hepatitis.
While Hepatitis C is not vaccine preventable, the CDC recommends Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccination for people who have any chronic liver disease. You may not be at a higher risk for getting Hepatitis A or B infection but if you already have chronic liver disease, contracting either of these viruses could increase your risk of getting very sick.
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is spread through contact with the stool (bowel movements) of a person infected with the hepatitis A virus. This usually occurs by eating food or drinking water that has become contaminated as a result of handling by an infected person.
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is spread through blood or bodily fluids, sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles with an infected person or during childbirth when a baby is born to a mother who is infected.
The Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccine is used to help prevent these diseases. The vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the virus, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease.
The Hepatitis A vaccine is administered in 2 doses. These doses are given 6 months apart.
Hepatitis B is administered in 3 doses. The second dose is given 1 month after the first and the 3rd dose, 5 months after the second.
TwinRix (combination of Hep A & Hep B Vaccines) can be administered if immunity is negative to both Hep A & B. The dosing regimen is the same as Hepatitis B Vaccine.
Vaccination with Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B is recommended for all adults who are at risk of getting Hepatitis A or B. Risk factors include: having more than one sex partner in 6 months; being a homosexual male; having sexual contact with infected people; having cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis C; using intravenous (IV) drugs; being on dialysis or receiving blood transfusions; working in healthcare or public safety and being exposed to infected blood or body fluids; being in the military or traveling to high-risk areas; and living with a person who has either hepatitis A or B infection.
Premier Medical Group offers both vaccines at our Poughkeepsie and New Windsor GI locations. If you have not already received the Hepatitis A & B vaccine, please talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated.
New Windsor: 845.562.0740