/ Impfservice 9 Hepatitis A

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is
an inflammation of the liver that is triggered by a virus. It starts
with fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, followed by
jaundice after a few days. Jaundice can be most often identified by a discolouration of the eyes,
dark urine and light-coloured stools. While children often overcome hepatitis A
without major problems, adults can experience severe and long-lasting
complaints. However, there are no sequelae (lasting after-effects).

There exists no treatment for hepatitis A itself; only the symptoms can be relieved.

In Austria, the virus is primarily transmitted via faeces. However, in countries with lower standards of hygiene, it may also be passed on via contaminated drinking water and food, e.g. ice cubes, seafood (mainly mussels, clams, oysters, shellfish), fruit, salad, vegetables, milk or cold meat. In these cases, the virus is passed onto food via contaminated water or through infected persons who prepare the food without washing their hands thoroughly. After infection, it takes 3 to 6 weeks for symptoms to appear. Infected persons usually excrete the virus already 2 weeks before onset of the illness.

Vaccination advice for children, young people and adults

The Austrian Vaccination Plan recommends a hepatitis A vaccination

  • for children after the 1st
    birthday, before they attend community facilities
  • for persons exposed to greater risks because of
    their work or behaviour
  • for kitchen staff because they
    can put others at risk if they become infected
  • for persons planning to travel to southern countries,
    tropical countries and countries with poor hygienic conditions

Children can be vaccinated after their 1st birthday.
This vaccination is not free of charge but must be paid for.

Vaccination schedule

Hepatitis A only:

First vaccination: from the 1st birthday at the earliest
Second vaccination: 6 months after the first vaccination

Normally, a booster vaccination is not required.

Hepatitis A and hepatitis B:

First vaccination: from the 1st birthday at the earliest
Second vaccination: 4 weeks after the first vaccination
Third vaccination: 6 to 12 months after the second vaccination

Normally, a booster vaccination is not required.

Information and consultancy

Do you want to find out more about the hepatitis A vaccination? Are you unsure whether you have been vaccinated against hepatitis A?