What are the Possible Risks of Hepatitis A Vaccine?

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Hepatitis A vaccine is very safe vaccine and the risk of serious harm from it is extremely rare and small. But hepatitis A vaccine does have some potentially serious risks (although very rare) like any other medication, such as allergic reaction to any of the components of the vaccine. But one thing is for sure; it is safer to get the vaccine than the disease, i.e. hepatitis. The risks (or complications) from hepatitis A vaccine may be mild or may be severe.

What should you do, if there is reaction to hepatitis A vaccine?

Signs of allergic reaction (to anything including hepatitis A vaccine) are difficulty in breathing, rapid heart beat, hoarseness of voice, wheezing, hives etc. If you notice any of the symptoms after receiving hepatitis A vaccine, call a doctor immediately or take the person to nearby healthcare facility immediately.

Mild problems with hepatitis A vaccine:

  • Headache, which may be seen more frequently in adults than children. One out of six adults receiving hepatitis A vaccine may complain of headache, whereas only 1 out of 25 children complain of headache.
  • Soreness in the area of the shot. Up to 50% adults and 15% children complain of this problem.
  • Tiredness may be seen among adults.
  • Loss of appetite may be seen among children.

All the mild problems associated with hepatitis A vaccine usually go away in a day or two without any treatment.

Severe problems with hepatitis A vaccine:

  • Severe allergic reaction, including anaphylactic shock may occur within few minutes or few hours after receiving the vaccine shot. This is extremely rare reaction, but serious. Serious allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock generally occurs due to allergy/hypersensitivity to any of the components (including preservatives, adjuvant or the virus itself) used for manufacturing of hepatitis A vaccine.

US citizens should report any reaction to hepatitis A vaccine to Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) by filling up a form online in the official website: www.vaers.hhs.gov, or by calling 1-800-822-7967. If you want to claim compensation for injury caused by hepatitis A vaccine you can do so at National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation

Image: Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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