Hepatitis A travel vaccination for children

Last night I slept with 1 eye open, just waiting… but nothing!

Yesterday the boys had their first travel injection – Hepatitis A.  Whilst the side effects are low, you never quite know if yours will be the one to have a reaction.  Luckily this didn’t turn out to be the case, which is a relief as they have a booster jab in 6 months time!

Having the injection doesn’t appear to have scarred them either, which is good because they have a whole host of needles heading their way!

Keith and I are already vaccinated against Hep A from when we travelled (pre-kids) and so the injection the boys received was a pediatric version.

How serious is Hepatitis A vaccine?

Hepatitis A affects the liver, but is one of the few illnesses that we were advised of which is not usually serious and you can recover at home after a few months.

However, the main reason we are vaccinating is because the risk of catching it is high and being ill for a few months when you’re travelling is no fun!

The illness focuses on parts of the world where standards of sanitation and food hygiene are generally poor, such as parts of Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, the Middle East, and Central and South America.  These are the areas we plan to spend most of our time and so the risk of catching this increases, especially with children!

You can get the infection from:

  • eating food prepared by someone with the infection who hasn’t washed their hands properly or washed them in water contaminated with sewage
  • drinking contaminated water (including ice cubes)
  • eating raw or undercooked shellfish from contaminated water
  • close contact with someone who has hepatitis A

How many injections and how much does it cost?

The initial injection costs £40 (from our medical surgery, UK) and lasts for 1 year.  However, if you get a booster after 6 -12 months which vaccinates you for life.  We don’t yet know how long we will travel for so getting a booster makes sense.

For more information about vaccinations check my post about advice & costs.

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