Reaction to Hepatitis B Virus Vaccine

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To the editor: To date, five “serious” reactions in patients have been attributed to administration of hepatitis B virus vaccine (1). In this letter, we describe one of those reactions.

A 31-year-old physician at the Arizona Health Sciences Center who did not have antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) received a standard initial dose of 20 μg of hepatitis B virus vaccine intramuscularly in November 1982. By 48 hours after the injection, he noted the onset of malaise and low-grade fever. At approximately 60 hours, he awoke with a generalized urticarial reaction. Over the next 5 days, the rash

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