What are the side effects of the hepatitis vaccine?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Hepatitis A vaccine
In rare cases, hepatitis A vaccine may cause a severe allergic reaction that leads to difficulty breathing, swelling in the face or throat, severe dizziness and hives. If you develop these symptoms after getting hepatitis A vaccine, get medical attention right away and don't get your second shot. Other serious side effects of hepatitis A vaccine may include:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • paralysis of the arms or legs
  • confusion
  • irregular heartbeat 
  • seizures

Hepatitis A vaccine also may cause less severe side effects, including:

  • mild fever
  • tiredness
  • headaches
  • joint pain
  • nausea
  • redness or swelling at the injection site

Other side effects may be possible, so talk to your doctor if any new or unusual symptoms develop after getting a hepatitis A vaccine.

Hepatitis B vaccine
Side effects from the vaccine are very rare, and most often include pain, bruising or itching around the site of injection or feeling tired and weak. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the hepatitis B vaccine, you may suffer a severe allergic reaction. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of the symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as a rash or hives appearing on your skin, trouble breathing or swelling around the face, mouth or throat. 

Continue Learning about Vaccines & Immunizations

Vaccines & Immunizations

Vaccines & Immunizations

Vaccines are commonly given to children in the form of a shot to help prevent serious diseases like measles and mumps. Vaccines are developed using either dead strains of a disease, weakened strains, or strains of a different dise...

ase. As adults, we receive flu vaccines or may need a booster of childhood vaccines to retain immunity. Travelers may receive vaccines either as a condition of entry to a country, or on recommendation of health officials. Generally there is little or no reaction to a vaccine, but in some cases the vaccine may cause an allergic reaction or a temporary, mild illness. Some vaccines are not safe for pregnant women, so it’s important to check with a healthcare professional.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.