People who want to prevent hepatitis A infections may receive the Vaqta vaccine. It comes in two forms, including one for adults and one for children between the age of 12 months and 18 years old. It works by exposing the body to the hepatitis A virus without risking the actual disease. Possible side effects include irritability and reactions at the injection site.
What Is Vaqta?
Vaqta® (hepatitis A vaccine) is a vaccine used to provide protection against hepatitis A. This vaccine comes in two forms, one that is used in children (age 12 months through 18 years of age) and one that is used in adults.
Vaqta does not contain thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative). People who are concerned about exposure to this substance can be confident that this vaccine does not even contain trace amounts of thimerosal.
Some people may also be concerned about the aluminum content of vaccines. Vaqta contains 0.45 mg of aluminum per mL per adult dose and 0.225 mg of aluminum per pediatric dose.
Who Makes This Medication?
Vaqta is made by Merck & Co., Inc.
How Does Vaqta Work?
Simply stated, this vaccine allows the body to be exposed to the hepatitis A virus without risking the actual disease. The body produces antibodies that will help fight the infection if future exposure occurs.
Vaqta contains inactivated (killed) hepatitis viruses. Because this vaccine is not "live," there is no chance that a person could get hepatitis A from it.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine information statement: hepatitis A vaccine (10/25/2011). CDC Web site. Available at: http://cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-hep-a.pdf. Accessed June 4, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 4, 2012.
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