The best way to prevent hepatitis A and B is through vaccination. The hepatitis A and B vaccines are very safe, and are effective at preventing hepatitis A and B disease. Unfortunately there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. All individuals at risk for hepatitis C should be vaccinated for both hepatitis A and b. Click here to find a healthcare provider that administers hepatitis vaccine to eligible children and adolescents free of charge and click here to find healthcare providers that vaccinate eligible adults for hepatitis A and B free of charge.
Hepatitis A Vaccine
There are several safe, effective hepatitis A vaccines available. CDC recommends hepatitis A vaccine for:
- All children, beginning at 1 year
- People with unstable housing or experiencing homelessness
- People who are at increased risk for infection
- People who are at increased risk for complications from hepatitis A
- Anyone who wants protection against hepatitis A
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Hepatitis B vaccine is given as a series of 2, 3, or 4 shots, depending on the vaccine formula and health needs of the person getting vaccinated. CDC recommends hepatitis B vaccine for:
- All infants within 24 hours of birth (usually 3 doses completed over a 6-month period)
- Children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age who have not yet gotten the vaccine
- People who are at increased risk of hepatitis B due to travel to certain countries, work exposure to blood, high-risk sexual behavior, injectable drug use, living situations, and certain medical conditions.
- Anyone who wants protection against hepatitis B
Hepatitis C Vaccine
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. Although there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, there are ways to reduce the risk of becoming infected.
- Avoid sharing or reusing needles, syringes or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones, or other substances.
- Do not use personal items that may have come into contact with an infected person’s blood, even in amounts too small to see, such as glucose monitors, razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes.
- Do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting.