HAV SHIELD inactivated Hepatitis A virus vaccine

The HAV SHIELD vaccine is used for prevention of Hepatitis A disease. Hepatitis A is an infectious disease affecting the liver. This is a viral illness caused by Hepatitis A virus. This illness spreads through contaminated water and food. After entering the human body, it affects the liver causing its inflammation.

As the age increases severity of the Hepatitis A disease increases and it becomes the leading cause of liver failure needing liver transplant. It can be fatal in a small percentage of patients if they suffer acute fatal hepatitis.

What is the HAV SHIELD vaccine?

The HAV SHIELD vaccine is used for prevention of Hepatitis A disease. This vaccine is produced and marketed by Abott.

It is an inactivated Hepatitis A virus vaccine. It contains antigens of Hepatitis A virus.

What are the contents of the HAV SHIELD vaccine?

Hepatitis A virus vaccine, the HAV SHIELD vaccine is cultured in human embryo diploid cells followed by harvesting, purification and inactivation of the virus by formaldehyde.

Finally the Hepatitis A antigen is adsorbed on aluminium hydroxide which enhances the immune reaction induced by the vaccine.

Each 0.5 ml of HAV SHIELD vaccine contains

Inactivated HAV antigen (TZ84 Strain)250 U
Aluminium hydroxide0.175-0.31 mg
Disodium hydrogen phosphateq.s.
Sodium chloride4.5 mg
Sodium dihydrogen phosphateq.s.
Water for injectionQ.s. to 0.5 ml 
Each 0.5 ml of HAV SHIELD vaccine contains

In which form the HAV SHIELD Vaccine is available?

Hav Shield vaccine is available as injection in quantity 0.5 ml. It is available as a pre-filled syringe. It contains a needle for injection in the package. The package comes in attractive color and protects the injection from light.

The package also contains package inserts which gives detailed information about the vaccine.

How to store this vaccine?

The Hav Shield vaccine is stored at 2-8 degree celsius. Manufacturer recommends it to store in original packaging as it protects the product from light.

The strict cold chain at recommended temperature is suggested for the best result. The vaccine should be discarded if frozen and expired products should not be used.

Kept as per recommended conditions the vaccine has a shelf life of 3 years as claimed by the manufacturer. Local biomedical waste disposal protocols should be followed while discarding expired and used materials for vaccination.

How to administer HAV SHIELD Vaccine?

The HAV SHIELD vaccine is inactivated Hepatitis A vaccine injected intramuscularly on the thigh or shoulder.

Standard universal precautions for vaccine injection are suggested and the expired and used material is discarded according to the local biomedical waste management protocols.

What is the schedule of the HAV SHIELD Vaccine?

The HAV SHIELD vaccine is administered at age above 1 year. First dose can be given at an age above 12 months and second dose is given at least 6 months after the first dose.

HAV SHIELD vaccine first doseAbove 12 months
HAV SHIELD vaccine second dose6 months after the first dose

What if someone misses the dose?

If someone has missed the dose and is not vaccinated for hepatitis A this vaccine can be given above 1 year of age followed by a second dose after 6 months.

How does the HAV SHIELD vaccine work?

As stated earlier the HAV SHIELD vaccine is inactivated virus vaccine. It contains purified antigens of the Hepatitis A virus. It is given intramuscularly in deep muscle.

When injected the antigens gain entry to the body of the recipient. It is identified by the human immune system as foreign antigen.

Human immune system induces an immune response to Hepatitis A antigens like it does with other foreign antigens. The antibodies are produced against these foreign antigens.

In the process the immune system also builds the memory of the antigens. If the real virus enters the body the immune system which is ready with vaccine immunity fights back vigorously and the disease is prevented.

Though this is an inactivated virus vaccine mechanism of immunity it develops is active immune mechanism.

Use in pregnancy and lactation

There is no sufficient data yet about the safety of this vaccine for use in pregnancy and lactation. This vaccine should be avoided or considered after studying the risk of infection vs benefit of vaccination.

Ability to drive

No studies have been done for this vaccine about the effect of this vaccine on the ability to drive.

Interactions with other medicines

This vaccine should not be mixed with other medicines or vaccines in the same syringe. No clinical data is yet available about co administration of this vaccine. Separate syringe and site for injection should be used for others.

What are the side effects of the HAV SHIELD vaccine?

The HAV SHIELD vaccine was studied and compared with already available control vaccines of other brands and side effects were not more frequent than them.

Some of the side effects with this vaccine are listed as follows:

  • Injection site pain, swelling and induration.
  • Fever.
  • Headache and myalgia.
  • Loss of appetite and fatigue.
  • Irritability.
  • Increased or decreased sleep.
  • Sometimes mild nausea, vomiting diarrhea.
  • Life threatening side effects like anaphylaxis are extremely rare.

What are contraindications of the HAV SHIELD vaccine?

There are few contraindications for this vaccine as claimed by the manufacturer. They are listed as follows.

  1. The HAV SHIELD vaccine should not be given to a person suffering from severe hepatitis.
  2. The vaccination with this vaccine should be postponed in acute febrile illness.
  3. The vaccine is contraindicated in those people who are allergic to any of its contents.

What precautions are needed with this vaccine?

Like all other vaccines some precautions are to be taken with the HAV SHIELD vaccine. 

  • The vaccine should be stored at the recommended temperature by the manufacturer.
  • The vaccine should be stored in original packaging.
  • Vaccine should be shaken well to mix the contents before use.
  • The vaccine should not be used if the pre-filled syringe is cracked or damaged.
  • This vaccine should not be used if larger clumps are found and that cannot be mixed.
  • Like all other vaccines, patients should be under observation for half an hour after vaccination.
  • If a severe reaction like anaphylaxis is found immediate appropriate treatment should be available. 
  • AEFI kit to manage severe allergic reactions should be available at the vaccination centre with appropriate medicines.

<span class="has-inline-color has-luminous-vivid-orange-color">Dr Yatin Bhole MBBS DCh DNB</span>
Dr Yatin Bhole MBBS DCh DNB

This article was written by Dr Yatin Bhole who is practicing Pediatrician at Bhole Children Clinic, Ravet. This post is for general information and before applying it on yourself, you should meet your doctor or meet us in person.

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