Hepatitis A Vaccine Side Effects

Havrix and Vaqta are two vaccines against Hepatitis A. The risk of severe side effects is low, but Vaqta is more likely to cause fevers in children under 2 years old. Side effects are more likely when HepA vaccines are given with MMR and pneumococcal vaccines.

What are Hepatitis A vaccines?

Hepatitis A Vaccines
Havrix and Vaqta

Two vaccines against Hepatitis A are approved in the United States:

  • Havrix: Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and approved by the FDA in 1995. It comes in pediatric doses (0.5-mL) and adult doses (1.0-mL).
  • Vaqta: Manufactured by Merck & Co. and approved by the FDA in 1996. It comes in pediatric doses (0.5-mL) and adult doses (1.0-mL).

Can the vaccine cause Hepatitis A?

No. Havrix and Vaqta can’t cause Hepatitis A because they do not have a live virus. The vaccine contain an inactivated (dead) whole virus from a strain of Hepatitis A that was proven to be weak.

What are common side effects?

  • Injection-site reactions (pain, redness, swelling, lump)
  • Eye irritation
  • Low fever
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Joint pain
  • Sore throat

What are rare side effects?

Hepatitis A vaccines sometimes cause temporary side effects like fainting, dizziness, vision changes, numbness, tingling, or seizure-like movements. Tell your doctor right away if you have these symptoms. The vaccine is also linked to rare reports of severe side effects.

Both vaccines contain latex and the antibiotic neomycin. People who are sensitive to these ingredients can suffer severe allergic reactions.

What are severe side effects?

  • Allergic reaction
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Asthma
  • Angioedema
  • Back pain or stiffness
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Constipation
  • Convulsions
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Encephalitis
  • Encephalopathy (brain inflammation)
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Fever over 100ºF
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Febrile seizure
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
  • Hematoma (blood pocket)
  • Hepatitis (non-viral liver inflammation)
  • Infection
  • Jaundice
  • Latex hypersensitivity reaction
  • Lung infection
  • Rash
  • Seizure
  • Serum sickness-like syndrome
  • Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Viral infection
  • Vasculitis

What is SIRVA?

Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) occurs when the person giving the vaccine accidentally hits nerves, tendons, ligaments, or punctures the bursa in the shoulder. This can result in chronic pain and limited range of movement in the arm.

Where can I get more information?

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