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About Side Effects of Vaccinations: From the Package Inserts

This page lists the side effects for the most common vaccines. To see all the package inserts, visit this link:

About So Called Safety: Side Effects NOT Rare
About Package Inserts: How to Find Them
Merck MMR Vaccine: Package Insert
Tripedia Dtap Vaccine: Package Insert
Infanrix Dtap Vaccine: Package Insert
Gardasil HPV Vaccine: Package Insert
Varivax Chicken Pox Vaccine: Package Insert
FluMist Flu Vaccine: Package Insert
FluZone Flu Vaccine: Package Insert
Recombivax HepB Vaccine: Package Insert
Engerix HepB Vaccine: Package Insert
Havrix HepA Vaccine: Package Insert
Vaqta HepA Vaccine: Package Insert
Menhibrix HIB Vaccine: Package Insert
Pediarix Polio Vaccine: Package Insert
Prevnar Pneumonia Vaccine: Package Insert
Biothrax Anthrax Vaccine: Package Insert

Are there no severe side effects of vaccines?

That is what doctors will tell you. For example, Dr. Paul Offit (from the The Greater Good - Think You Know Everything About Vaccines... Think Again) says "...vaccines should cause virtually no severe side effects and that's really pretty much true... It is extremely rare that they would cause any problems." Look at all the adverse reactions below... and decide for yourself... if vaccine side effects are worth it...

How can you find out about the side effects of vaccines?

Find the package insert that comes with the vaccine. Search the package insert for "adverse events reported" or "adverse reactions". If you want to know the brand name for a vaccine by any disease, search on "commercial name of vaccine for [disease]". Here is a list of the most common ones:

Vaccine Terminology
Vaccine Type vs Brand Names
Vaccine Brand Names

What are the side effects of the Merck MMR vaccine?

The Merck MMR vaccine is meant to protect against measles (rubeola), mumps, and rubella. From the MMR Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "Body as a Whole (panniculitis; atypical measles; fever; syncope; headache; dizziness; malaise; irritability). Cardiovascular System (Vasculitis). Digestive System (Pancreatitis; diarrhea; vomiting; parotitis; nausea). Endocrine System (Diabetes mellitus). Hemic and Lymphatic System (Thrombocytopenia; purpura; regional lymphadenopathy; leukocytosis). Immune System (Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported as well as related phenomena such as angioneurotic edema (including peripheral or facial edema) and bronchial spasm in individuals with or without an allergic history). Musculoskeletal System (Arthritis; arthralgia; myalgia)... Other (Death from various, and in some cases unknown, causes has been reported rarely following vaccination with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines."

Merck MMR Package Insert (from Merck)

What are the side effects of the TRIPEDIA DTAP vaccine?

The Tripedia DTAP vaccine is meant to protect against Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Pertussis. From the Tripedia Dtap Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea."

Tripedia Package Insert (from Google Archive)

What are the side effects of the INFANRIX DTAP vaccine?

The Infanrix vaccine is meant to protect against Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Pertussis. From the Infanrix Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "Rates of injection site reactions (pain, redness, swelling) ranged from 10% to 53%, depending on reaction and dose number, and were highest following Doses 4 and 5. Fever was common (20% to 30%) following Doses 1-3. Other common solicited adverse events were drowsiness, irritability/fussiness, and loss of appetite, reported in approximately 15% to 60% of subjects, depending on event and dose number."

Infanrix Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the GARDASIL HPV vaccine?

The Gardasil vaccine is meant to protect against diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). From the Gardasil Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "Headache, fever, nausea, and dizziness; and local injection site reactions (pain, swelling, erythema, pruritus, and bruising). Syncope, sometimes associated with tonic-clonic movements and other seizure-like activity and may result in falling with injury; anaphylaxis."

Gardasil Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the VARIVAX vaccine?

The Varivax vaccine is meant to protect against varicella (otherwise known as chicken pox). From the Varivax Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "(=10%) adverse reactions in children ages 1 to 12 years include: fever =102.0F (38.9C), oral: 14.7% injection-site complaints: 19.3% (6.1); Frequently reported (=10%) adverse reactions in adolescents and adults ages 13 years and older include: fever = 100.0F (37.8C), oral: 10.2% injection-site complaints: 24.4% (6.1); Other reported adverse reactions in all age groups include: varicella-like rash (injection site) varicella-like rash (generalized)."

Varivax Package Insert (from Merck)

What are the side effects of the FLU MIST vaccine?

The Flu Mist vaccine is meant to protect against influenza. From the Flu Mist Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "-10% in vaccine recipients and at least 5% greater than in placebo recipients) reported after FluMist were runny nose or nasal congestion (ages 2 years through 49 years), fever over 100F (children ages 2 years through 6 years), and sore throat (adults ages 18 years through 49 years). Among children and adolescents 2 through 17 years of age who received FluMist Quadrivalent, 32% reported runny nose or nasal congestion and 7% reported fever over 100F. Among adults 18 through 49 years of age who received FluMist Quadrivalent, 44% reported runny nose or nasal congestion and 19% reported sore throat."

Flu Mist Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the FLUZONE vaccine?

The Fluzone vaccine is meant to protect against influenza. From the Fluzone Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: " In children 6 months through 35 months of age, the most common (=10%) injection-site reactions were pain (57%) or tenderness (54%), erythema (37%), and swelling (22%); the most common solicited systemic adverse reactions were irritability (54%), abnormal crying (41%), malaise (38%), drowsiness (38%), appetite loss (32%), myalgia (27%), vomiting (15%), and fever (14%). In children 3 years through 8 years of age, the most common (=10%) injection-site reactions were pain (67%), erythema (34%), and swelling (25%); the most common solicited systemic adverse reactions were myalgia (39%), malaise (32%), and headache (23%). In adults 18 years and older, the most common (=10%) injection-site reaction was pain (47%); the most common solicited systemic adverse reactions were myalgia (24%), headache (16%), and malaise (11%). In adults 65 years of age and older, the most common (=10%) injection- site reaction was pain (33%); the most common solicited systemic adverse reactions (11%)."

Fluzone Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the RECOMBIVAX HB vaccine?

The Recombivax HB vaccine is meant to protect against Hepatitis B virus. From the Recombivax HB Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "GENERAL DISORDERS AND ADMINISTRATION SITE CONDITIONS Injection site reactions consisting principally of soreness, and including pain, tenderness, pruritus, erythema, ecchymosis, swelling, warmth, nodule formation. In three clinical studies, 434 doses of RECOMBIVAX HB, 5 mcg, were administered to 147 healthy The most frequent systemic complaints include fatigue/weakness; headache; fever (=100F); malaise. GASTROINTESTINAL DISORDERS Nausea; diarrhea RESPIRATORY, THORACIC AND MEDIASTINAL DISORDERS Pharyngitis; upper respiratory infection Incidence Less Than 1% of Injections GENERAL DISORDERS AND ADMINISTRATION SITE CONDITIONS Sweating; achiness; sensation of warmth; lightheadedness; chills; flushing GASTROINTESTINAL DISORDERS Vomiting; abdominal pains/cramps; dyspepsia; diminished appetite RESPIRATORY, THORACIC AND MEDIASTINAL DISORDERS Rhinitis; influenza; cough NERVOUS SYSTEM DISORDERS Vertigo/dizziness; paresthesia 4 SKIN AND SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE DISORDERS Pruritus; rash (non-specified); angioedema; urticaria MUSCULOSKELETAL AND CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISORDERS Arthralgia including monoarticular; myalgia; back pain; neck pain; shoulder pain; neck stiffness BLOOD AND LYMPHATIC DISORDERS Lymphadenopathy PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS Insomnia/disturbed sleep EAR AND LABYRINTH DISORDERS Earache RENAL AND URINARY DISORDERS Dysuria CARDIAC DISORDERS Hypotension."

Recombivax Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the ENGERIX-B vaccine?

The Engerix-B vaccine is meant to protect against Hepatitis B virus. From the Engerix-B Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "Infections and Infestations (Herpes zoster, meningitis); Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders (Thrombocytopenia); Immune System Disorders (Allergic reaction, anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis. An apparent hypersensitivity syndrome (serum sickness-like) of delayed onset has been reported days to weeks after vaccination, including: arthralgia/arthritis (usually transient), fever, and dermatologic reactions such as urticaria, erythema multiforme, ecchymoses, and erythema nodosum). Nervous System Disorders (Encephalitis, encephalopathy, migraine, multiple sclerosis, neuritis, neuropathy including hypoesthesia, paresthesia, Guillain-Barr syndrome and Bells palsy, optic neuritis, paralysis, paresis, seizures, syncope, transverse myelitis); Eye Disorders (Conjunctivitis, keratitis, visual disturbances); Ear and Labyrinth Disorders (Earache, tinnitus, vertigo); Cardiac Disorders (Palpitations, tachycardia); Vascular Disorders (Vasculitis); Respiratory, Thoracic, and Mediastinal Disorders (Apnea, bronchospasm including asthma-like symptoms); Gastrointestinal Disorders (Dyspepsia); Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders (Alopecia, angioedema, eczema, erythema multiforme including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema nodosum, lichen planus, purpura); Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders (Arthritis, muscular weakness)."

Engerix-B Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the HAVRIX vaccine?

The Havrix vaccine is meant to protect against Hepatitis A virus. From the Havrix Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders: (Anorexia); Gastrointestinal Disorders: (Nausea); General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: (Fatigue, fever >99.5F (37.5C), induration, redness, and swelling of the injection site; malaise); Infections and Infestations: (Pharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infections); Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: (Lymphadenopathy); Psychiatric Disorders: (Insomnia); Nervous System Disorders: (Dysgeusia, hypertonia); Eye Disorders: (Photophobia); Ear and Labyrinth Disorders: (Vertigo); Gastrointestinal Disorders: (Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting); Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: (Pruritus, rash, urticaria); Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders: (Arthralgia, myalgia); General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: (Injection site hematoma)."

Havrix Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the VAQTA vaccine?

The Vaqta vaccine is meant to protect against Hepatitis A virus. From the Vaqta Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "Children 12 through 23 months of age: injection-site pain/tenderness (37.0%), injection- site erythema (21.2%), fever (16.4% when administered alone, and 27.0% when administered concomitantly); Children/Adolescents 2 through 18 years of age: injection-site pain (18.7%); Adults 19 years of age and older: injection-site pain, tenderness, or soreness (67.0%), injection-site warmth (18.2%) and headache (16.1%); local and/or systemic allergic reactions that occurred in -1% of over 10, 000 children/adolescents or adults in clinical trials regardless of causality included: injection-site pruritus and/or rash; bronchial constriction; asthma; wheezing; edema/swelling; rash; generalized erythema; urticaria; pruritus; eye irritation/itching; dermatitis."

Vaqta Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the MENHIBRIX vaccine?

The Menhibrix vaccine is meant to protect against Neisseria meningitidis serogroups C and Y and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). From the Menhibrix Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "Rates of local injection site pain, redness, and swelling ranged from 15% to 46% depending on reaction and specific dose in schedule. Commonly reported systemic events included irritability (62% to 71%), drowsiness (49% to 63%), loss of appetite (30% to 34%), and fever (11% to 26%). General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: (Extensive swelling of the vaccinated limb, injection site induration); Immune System Disorders: (Allergic reactions (including anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions), angioedema); Nervous System Disorders: (Convulsions (with or without fever), hypotonic-hyporesponsive episode, somnolence, syncope or vasovagal responses to injection); Respiratory, Thoracic, and Mediastinal Disorders: (Apnea); Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: (Rash, urticaria)."

Menhibrix Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the PEDIARIX vaccine?

The Pediarix vaccine is meant to protect against poliomyelitis (polio) along with other diseases. From the Pediarix Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "local injection site reactions (pain, redness, and swelling), fever (=100.4F), drowsiness, irritability/fussiness, and loss of appetite."

Pediarix Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the PREVNAR vaccine?

The Prevnar vaccine is meant to protect against pneumonia. From the Prevnar Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: In infants and toddlers vaccinated at 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months of age in US clinical trials, the most commonly reported solicited adverse reactions (-5%) were irritability (-70%), injection site tenderness (-50%), decreased appetite (-40%), decreased sleep (-40%), increased sleep (-40%), fever (-20%), injection site redness (-20%), and injection site swelling (-20%). In children aged 5 through 17 years, the most commonly reported solicited adverse reactions (-5%) were injection site tenderness (-80%), injection site redness (-30%), injection site swelling (-30%), irritability (-20%), decreased appetite (-20%), increased sleep (-20%), fever (-5%), and decreased sleep (-5%). In adults aged 18 years and older, the most commonly reported solicited adverse reactions (-5%) were pain at the injection site (-50%), fatigue (-30%), headache (-20%), muscle pain (-20%), joint pain (-10%), decreased appetite (-10%), injection site redness (-10%), injection site swelling (-10%), limitation of arm movement (-10%), vomiting (-5%), fever (-5%), chills (-5%),and rash (-5%)."

Prevnar Package Insert (from FDA)

What are the side effects of the BIOTHRAX vaccine?

The BioThrax vaccine is meant to protect against anthrax. From the Prevnar Package Insert, potential adverse side effects include: "most common (-10%) local (injection-site) adverse reactions observed in clinical studies were tenderness, pain, erythema, edema, and arm motion limitation. The most common (-5%) systemic adverse reactions were muscle aches, headache, and fatigue."

BioThrax Package Insert (from FDA)
Anthrax Vaccine Side Effects

Credits: from the FDA or Manufacturer's Vaccine Package Inserts.


 

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