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What are the risks from the anthrax vaccine?
Local: At injection site
Like all vaccines, anthrax vaccine may cause soreness, redness, itching, and swelling at the injection site. Up to 30% of men and 60% of women report mild local reactions, but these reactions usually last only a few days. For both genders, between 1% and 5% report moderate local reactions of 1 to 5 inches in diameter. Larger reactions occur about once per hundred vaccinees or less. A lump at the site occurs commonly, usually lasting for a few weeks, before going away on its own, if left alone. Large local reactions are rare, occurring in less than 1 percent of those vaccinated. Large reactions include swelling that extends to the elbow or forearm that can limit its movement, or a rash that is limited to the arm.
Systemic: Away from injection site
Beyond the injection site, from 5% to 35% of anthrax vaccine recipients may notice muscle aches, joint aches, headaches, malaise, rashes, chills, low-grade fever, nausea, or related symptoms. These symptoms usually go away in less than a week.
Seek medical care if injection-site reactions are troublesome, or you experience any unusual change in your health such as high fever, severe headaches or other conditions which may impair your work performance. Signs of a serious allergic reaction can include difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat, or dizziness.
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