What Vaccines are Available for Hepatitis? What are the Risks?

Vaccine injury lawyer Leah Durant discusses the side effects and risks of the current vaccines for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis Vaccines: What are the Risks?

Hepatitis is a virus that attacks the liver and can spread by several methods, including sexual transmission. Two of the most common forms – Hepatitis A (HAV) and Hepatitis B (HBV) – affect thousands of people in the United States every year. This is true even though there are now multiple common vaccines for both HAV and HBV.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all children get vaccinated against Hepatitis A once they are at least 12 months old. The HAV vaccine is also generally recommended for individuals traveling internationally to countries with a high risk for infection. For Hepatitis B, the CDC recommends vaccination for all infants before they reach 18 months of age.

Current Vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B

The CDC currently lists three approved vaccines for Hepatitis A. These are:

  • Havrix (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Twinrix (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Vaqta (manufactured by Merck)

All three drugs are approved for infants (18 months or younger), while Havrix and Vaqta are also approved for adults.

The current approved vaccines for Hepatitis B are:

  • Engerix-B (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Recombivax HB (manufactured by Merck)
  • Twinrix (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline)

Engerix-B and Recombivax HB are approved for both infants and adults, though there are different formulations of Engerix-B for different age groups. For HBV, Twinrix is approved for adults only.

The Risks Associated with HAV and HBV Vaccinations

Like most vaccines, the HAV and HBV vaccines have many known side effects and potential risks. Some of the side effects and risks common to all of the vaccines listed in this article include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Unusual tiredness, weakness or fatigue

It should be noted that these symptoms are more common with some vaccines than others. For example, while the CDC notes that loss of appetite is a fairly common side effect of Hepatitis A vaccines, the Mayo Clinic identifies decreased appetite as a relatively rare side effect of the vaccines for Hepatitis B.

Other potential side effects of the Hepatitis A vaccines include: behavioral changes, hives, hoarseness or wheezing, increased heart rate and pale skin. Most of these are associated with an allergic reaction.

Other potential side effects of the Hepatitis B vaccines include: back pain, chills, diarrhea, difficulty moving, drowsiness, muscle aches and pains, neck and shoulder stiffness, stomach cramps, sweating, swollen glands and trouble sleeping.

What to Do if You Experience Vaccine Side Effects or a Vaccine Injury

If you or your child has experienced negative side effects or suffered an injury following vaccination for HAV or HBV, you may entitled to compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The Vaccine Injury Fund is part of a program the federal government established in 1988 in order to make it easier for vaccine injury victims to obtain compensation for their medical expenses and other losses.

Discuss Your Hepatitis Vaccine Injury Claim with Vaccine Attorney Leah Durant Today

Leah V. Durant is a vaccine injury lawyer who assists clients in obtaining compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. To find out if you have a claim for compensation, call the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC today at (202) 800-1711 or request a free consultation online. Legal fees are covered under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, so legal representation comes at no financial cost to you.

Categories: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

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