The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends household family members and close contacts of children adopted from countries with high rates of hepatitis A virus (HAV) be vaccinated.
The policy statement, "Recommendations for Administering Hepatitis A Vaccine to Contacts of International Adoptees," in the October 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online Sept. 26), expands previous recommendations to only immunize travelers who are seeking to adopt children from countries with medium to high HAV infection rates. The new policy recommends routine administration of the vaccine for all household members and close contacts, including babysitters, during the 60-day period after the arrival of the adopted child.
The first dose of the two-dose series should be given when the adoption is planned, ideally, two or more weeks before arrival. The second dose should be given at least six months after the first dose in order to provide long-term immunity from HAV infection.