Hepatitis A Immunization

The CLF recommends that all Canadians be vaccinated against hepatitis A in order to reduce the incidence of this preventable illness.

Hepatitis A is a potentially serious liver disease that can vary in severity from a mild flu-like illness lasting a few days to a prolonged illness requiring hospitalization.  It is difficult to avoid inadvertent exposure to the hepatitis A virus. Exposure can occur as a result of contaminated food, water or food handling/preparation by someone infected by the hepatitis A virus.

The following groups have a higher than average risk of contracting, transmitting and/or suffering complications from the hepatitis A virus:

  • travelers to high risk areas, such as Mexico, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Latin America and eastern Europe, where hepatitis A is endemic
  • food handlers
  • daycare workers
  • adults, particularly those of middle age, who travel to high risk areas
  • anyone with chronic liver disease
  • Canadian-born children of immigrants from countries where hepatitis A is endemic

Vaccination is the most effective way to protect against hepatitis A.

To download a PDF of this position statement, click here.