What are the Different Hepatitis B Vaccine Side Effects?

Emma Lloyd

All medications and vaccines cause side effects, although in some cases these are very mild and might not be apparent. Generally, hepatitis B vaccine side effects are mild and non-threatening, but there are some moderate-to-severe side effects that can occur in rare cases. The hepatitis B vaccine is a recombinant vaccine made from synthetic versions of proteins from the hepatitis B virus. It is not a live or killed virus and therefore cannot cause a hepatitis B infection. This vaccine is safe for almost all people, including infants, children and older people.

A serious reaction to the hepatitis B vaccine may include developing hives.
A serious reaction to the hepatitis B vaccine may include developing hives.

The most common hepatitis B vaccine side effects are very mild and are not dangerous. Approximately 25 percent of people who have the vaccine will experience some soreness at the site of injection. About one out of every 15 people will have a temperature of 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius) or higher.

The hepatitis B vaccine is generally considered safe for everyone, including infants.
The hepatitis B vaccine is generally considered safe for everyone, including infants.

There are many other possible hepatitis B vaccine side effects, most of which are rare or non-threatening. Respiratory side effects that might occur include cough, rhinitis, upper respiratory tract infection, flu-like symptoms and asthma-like symptoms. Visual disturbances, joint and muscle pain or stiffness, swollen lymph nodes and mild allergic reactions can occur. Abnormal liver function tests are an uncommon side effect; more serious liver problems such as cancer or liver disease are not reported side effects.

Mild insomnia may occur after receiving the hepatitis B vaccine.
Mild insomnia may occur after receiving the hepatitis B vaccine.

Severe allergic reaction to the hepatitis B vaccine is extremely rare, occurring at a frequency of approximately one in 1.1 million. The symptoms of allergic hepatitis B vaccine side effects include hives or a rash, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or mouth. If someone who has had the hepatitis B vaccine experiences these side effects, he or she should seek emergency medical attention immediately.

About 17 percent of doctors report that their patients had some complications, usually minor, from the hepatitis B vaccine.
About 17 percent of doctors report that their patients had some complications, usually minor, from the hepatitis B vaccine.

Other potentially severe hepatitis B vaccine side effects include nervous system, cardiovascular and immunological side effects. Cardiovascular side effects include low blood pressure, fainting, heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat. The immune system can be affected by the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus, or vasculitis, in which blood vessels near the infection site become inflamed.

Most medical doctors believe that the benefits of common vaccines, such as the one for hepatitis B, outweigh potential risks.
Most medical doctors believe that the benefits of common vaccines, such as the one for hepatitis B, outweigh potential risks.

There are several possible nervous system side effects that can occur after the use of the hepatitis B vaccine. Temporary mild symptoms include headache, vertigo, dizziness, insomnia and sleepiness. Convulsions and inflammatory nervous system diseases such as encephalitis and myelitis are other possible consequences. People with multiple sclerosis might experience worsening of their symptoms after hepatitis B vaccination.

About 25 percent of individuals who receive the hepatitis vaccine will experience soreness at the injection site.
About 25 percent of individuals who receive the hepatitis vaccine will experience soreness at the injection site.
Headaches are one possible side effect of the hepatitis B vaccine.
Headaches are one possible side effect of the hepatitis B vaccine.
The hepatitis B vaccine may cause temporary sensations of vertigo and dizziness.
The hepatitis B vaccine may cause temporary sensations of vertigo and dizziness.

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