Fatal allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock rarely triggered by vaccines: CDC

By: Emily Lunardo | Health News | Sunday, October 18, 2015 - 10:00 AM

Fatal allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock rarely triggered by vaccines: CDCThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put out a report that fatal allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock are rarely triggered by vaccines.

The CDC reported that only 33 people have had a near life-threatening reaction from vaccines out of 25 million vaccines administered.

Study author, Dr. Michael McNeil, said, “Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases. This is a good time to remind parents that vaccines are safe and effective – the odds of having an anaphylaxis-related reaction following the administration of a vaccine are very slim.”

The researchers reviewed records from over 17 million visits and over 25 million vaccinations. They identified 380 cases of anaphylaxis and only 135 were from children under the age of five.

McNeil added, “We identified no cases of anaphylaxis in children less than 4 years old. The median age of our case patients was 17 years old with a range from 4 to 65 years old.”

No cases of anaphylaxis resulted in death and only one was hospitalized. Pre-existing conditions like asthma and allergies played a factor in nearly 85 percent of the cases. Life-threatening anaphylaxis is rare, but caregivers should always be prepared to treat it as a possible side effect.

The findings were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.


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