What is Twinrix and what is it used for?
Twinrix is a vaccine used for protection against two diseases: hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Hepatitis A is an infectious disease, which can affect the liver. This disease is caused by the hepatitis A virus. The hepatitis A virus can be passed from person to person in food and drink, or by swimming in water contaminated by sewage.
Signs of Hepatitis A
Symptoms of hepatitis A begin 3 to 6 weeks after coming into contact with the virus. These consist of nausea (feeling sick), fever and aches and pains. After a few days the whites of eyes and skin may become yellowish (jaundice). The severity and type of symptoms can vary. Young children may not develop jaundice. Most people recover completely but the illness is usually severe enough to cause people to feel ill for about a month.
Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus. It causes the liver to become swollen (inflamed). The virus is found in body fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or saliva (spit) of infected people.
Signs of Hepatitis B
Symptoms may not be seen for 6 weeks to 6 months after infection. People who have been infected will not always look or feel ill. Some people can feel sick, have a fever and aches and pains. However, others can become very ill. They may be very tired, and have dark urine, pale faeces, yellowish skin or eyes (jaundice). Some people may need to go into hospital.
How Twinrix works
Twinrix helps the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against these diseases. The vaccine does not contain live virus and therefore cannot cause hepatitis A or B infections. As with all vaccines, some people respond less well to a vaccine than others. Twinrix may not protect you/your child from being ill if you/your child have already caught the hepatitis A or B virus. Twinrix can only help to protect you/ your child against infections with hepatitis A or B viruses. It cannot protect against other infections that can affect the liver – even though these infections might have signs similar to those caused by the hepatitis A or B virus.
How Twinrix is given
The hepatitis A and B vaccine is given as an injection, usually into the muscle of the upper arm but it can be given in the thigh in infants. To be fully protected, it is necessary to have 3 doses of the hepatitis A and B vaccine, the first given on an agreed date and the second and third doses given one and 6 months later. Adults requiring rapid protection (for overseas travel for example) may be given the second dose after 1 week and third dose 3 weeks after the first dose; a fourth dose after 12 months is recommended. Twinrix Adult is suitable for use in adults and adolescents (aged 16 years of age and above) and Twinrix Paediatric for use in children and adolescents (aged 1 to 15 years) who are at risk of both hepatitis A and hepatitis B virus infection.
For further information on this hepatitis A and B vaccine please see: