Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A virus is found in the feces (poop) of people with hepatitis A. Hepatitis A can be spread by having close personal contact with an infected person, such as by living with or having sex with an infected person. It can also be spread by eating food or by drinking water that has been contaminated with hepatitis A virus – either when in the U.S. or when traveling in other countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends hepatitis A vaccination for all children and teens through age 18 who were not previously vaccinated, all adults who are in risk groups, and all adults without a risk factor who want to avoid hepatitis A infection.
The hepatitis B vaccination series is recommended for all children, beginning at birth. Adolescents and adults through age 59 years should be vaccinated if not previously vaccinated. Adults 60 years and older at increased risk for hepatitis should be vaccinated; all other adults 60 and older also may be vaccinated.