Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus it is a serious disease that affects the liver. Hepatitis A can cause jaundice, diarrhea, severe stomach pain, and flu like symptoms.
Hepatitis A can be spread by
- drinking contaminated water
- eating food handled by an infected person who didn’t wash their hands properly after using the restroom
- eating raw fruit and vegetable rinsed in contaminated water
- getting a tattoo with improperly sterilized tools
- sexual contact with an infected person
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a highly contagious infection that attacks the liver. It is transmitted through bodily fluids and blood. Infection can result from:
- improperly screened blood transfusions
- unprotected sex
- intravenous drug use
- close person contact with an infected person
- sharing grooming tools
The Twinrix vaccine provides immunity to both hepatitis A and B. The vaccine is given in a series of injections. It can be given in three doses over months or in four doses an initial dose followed by doses at 7 days, 21-30 days, and at 12 months.
The vaccine is recommended for people who:
- are health care professionals
- are intravenous drug users
- have chronic liver disease
- have hemophilia
- have HIV
- practice anal sex
- travel to areas with moderate to high infection rates
The Twinrix vaccine has been approved by the FDA for people 18 years of age and older who are at risk of HAV and HBV infection.