Hepatitis Home > Havrix Warnings and Precautions
Extra caution may be needed when giving Havrix to people with certain medical conditions, such as HIV/AIDS or a latex allergy. Safety precautions and warnings with Havrix also apply to women who are pregnant and to people who are moderately or severely ill (in such cases, the vaccine may need to be postponed).
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Receiving Havrix?Before you receive Havrix® (hepatitis A vaccine), tell your healthcare provider if you have:
- An immune-suppressing condition, such as HIV or AIDS, diabetes, or cancer
- Had any sort of a reaction to a vaccine before
- A moderate or severe illness
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Specific Precautions and Warnings With HavrixWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving Havrix include the following:
- Hepatitis A has a long incubation period (15 to 50 days). This vaccine may not prevent infection in people who were exposed to the virus in the days or weeks before receiving it. In such cases, it may look like Havrix did not work, or even that it caused the illness, but this is not the case.
- You can receive Havrix if you have a mild illness, such as the common cold. However, it is usually best to postpone the vaccine in the case of a moderate or severe illness.
- Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have ever had any serious reactions to any vaccines before.
- If you have an immune-suppressing condition, Havrix may not be as effective as usual for protection against hepatitis A, as your immune system may not be fully capable of responding to the vaccine.
- The prefilled syringes contain latex. Therefore, if you have a latex allergy, make sure the healthcare provider uses the vaccine from a vial -- not the prefilled syringes -- since the vials do not contain latex.
- Havrix is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means it is unknown if it is safe for use during pregnancy (see Havrix and Pregnancy).
- As with most vaccines, Havrix is considered safe for breastfeeding women (see Havrix and Breastfeeding).
- Havrix does not contain thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative). People who are concerned about exposure to this substance can be confident that this vaccine has no thimerosal -- not even trace amounts.
Some people also are concerned about the aluminum content of vaccines. Havrix contains 0.5 mg of aluminum per mL per adult dose and 0.25 mg of aluminum per pediatric dose.
- This vaccine is not made from animal components, unlike some vaccines. However, it is grown in a line of cells originally developed from lung tissue of an aborted human fetus.