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Vaccine-Associated Anaphylaxis


Purpose of Review

Anaphylaxis is a rare, serious hypersensitivity reaction following vaccination, which is rapid in onset and characterized by multisystem involvement. Although anaphylaxis may occur after any vaccine, understanding the risk for this outcome, particularly following influenza vaccines, is important because of the large number of persons vaccinated annually.

Recent Findings

Two recent CDC safety studies confirmed the rarity of post-vaccination anaphylaxis. In a 25-year review of data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), reports in children were most common following childhood vaccinations and among adults more often followed influenza vaccine. In a Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) study, the estimated incidence of anaphylaxis was 1.3 per million vaccine doses administered for all vaccines and 1.6 per million doses for IIV3 (trivalent) influenza vaccine.


Despite its rarity, its rapid onset (usually within minutes) and potentially lethal nature require that all personnel and facilities providing vaccinations have procedures in place for anaphylaxis management.

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References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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This study was supported solely by the CDC, and no external funding was secured.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael M. McNeil MD, MPH.

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Michael M. McNeil declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the US Department of Health and Human Services.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Anaphylaxis

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McNeil, M.M. Vaccine-Associated Anaphylaxis. Curr Treat Options Allergy 6, 297–308 (2019).

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  • Anaphylaxis
  • Influenza vaccination
  • Surveillance
  • Vaccine safety