for Veterans and the Public
What are the side effects of the hepatitis A vaccine?
The hepatitis A vaccine is made from inactive virus and is quite safe. In general, there are very few side effects. The most common side effect is soreness at or around the injection site, and other side effects include mild headache, loss of appetite among children, and feeling tired. These side effects usually begin three to five days after the vaccination and may last one to two days.
However, like any medicine, the vaccine may cause serious problems, such as an allergic reaction, which may appear within a few minutes or hours after the shot. This occurs very rarely, but if you believe you are having a reaction to the vaccine, you should call your doctor or nurse right away. Some warning signs of a serious allergic reaction include the following:
- High fever
- Behavior changes
- Difficulty breathing
- Hoarse voice or wheezing
- Pale skin
- Weakness or dizziness
- A fast heart beat
You will NOT get hepatitis A from the vaccine, and receiving the vaccine is much safer than getting the disease itself. Pregnant women have received the hepatitis A vaccine with no risk to the baby.