Why get immunised against hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause serious damage to your liver.

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you from hepatitis A.

By getting vaccinated against hepatitis A, you can also help protect other people, especially people who are too sick or too young to be vaccinated. The more people who are vaccinated in your community, the less likely the disease will spread.

Who should get immunised against hepatitis A?

Anyone who wants to protect themselves against hepatitis A can talk to their doctor about getting immunised.

Hepatitis A immunisation is recommended for:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged between 12 months and 24 months who live in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia or South Australia, for free under the National Immunisation Program (NIP)
  • children at least 12 months old and adults who are travelling to areas where hepatitis A is common
  • people who live or work with rural or remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • people who work in early childhood education and care
  • people with developmental disabilities, and their carers
  • plumbers and sewage workers
  • people who have anal sex
  • people who inject drugs
  • people with long-term liver disease
  • people who have had a liver transplant
  • people living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

Where can you get a hepatitis A immunisation?

Hepatitis A immunisations are available in each Australian state and territory.

See Where can I get immunised? for information.

How do you get immunised against hepatitis A?

You can get hepatitis A vaccines on their own or as a combination vaccine. They are all given as a needle.

Hepatitis A vaccines include:

Your doctor can tell you which vaccine they will use for your hepatitis A immunisation.

Do I need to pay for hepatitis A immunisation?

Vaccines covered by the NIP are free for people who are eligible. See the NIP Schedule to find out which vaccines you or your family are eligible to receive.

Eligible people get the vaccine for free, but your health care provider (for example, your doctor) may charge a consultation fee for the visit. You can check this when you make your appointment.

If you are not eligible for free vaccine, you may need to pay for it. The cost depends on the type of vaccine, the formula and where you buy it from. Your immunisation provider can give you more information.

What are the possible side effects of hepatitis A immunisation?

All medicines and vaccines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they’re not.

For most people, the chance of having a serious side effect from a vaccine is much lower than the chance of serious harm if you caught the disease.

Talk to your doctor about possible side effects of hepatitis A vaccines, or if you or your child have possible side effects that worry you.

Common side effects of hepatitis A vaccines include:

  • headache
  • tiredness
  • pain where the needle went in.

The Consumer Medicine Information links in How do you get immunised against hepatitis A? list the side effects of each vaccine.

More information


If you need advice or more information about immunisation, go to our Immunisation contacts page.

Last updated: 
22 December 2017