Is there any risk of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) from receiving a vaccine?
Fortunately, anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction, is a rare occurrence. Nonetheless, parents often worry, particularly if they have a child with serious allergies, about the dangers of the administration of a vaccine precipitating such a dangerous reaction in their child.
Anaphylaxis after vaccination administration is rare and no cases have been reported in children below 4 years of age. This data is reported according to an analysis of Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) from a comprehensive review of medical records from Jan. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2011. The VSD identified potential cases of anaphylaxis using diagnosis and procedural codes.
Their findings were as follows: out of a total of 25,173,965 vaccine doses administered, researchers found 33 confirmed vaccine-triggered cases of anaphylaxis, a rate of 1.31 per million vaccine doses. Furthermore, no deaths were reported.
Even so, an Institute of Medicine committee recently reported that they have uncovered evidence supporting a causal relationship between anaphylaxis and several different vaccines, including measles-mumps-rubella, varicella (chicken pox) and influenza. It was difficult to determine risks for individual vaccines because most were given with other vaccines. Among vaccines given alone, those that most frequently caused anaphylaxis were inactivated trivalent (3-strain) influenza vaccine (1.35 cases per million doses) and inactivated monovalent (1-strain)influenza vaccine (1.83 cases per million doses).
In eight cases, symptoms occurred within 30 minutes of vaccine administration. In another eight cases, reactions occurred within 30 to 120 minutes and in a third group of 10 cases, anaphylaxis symptoms didn't occur until 2 to 4 hours had passed.
The authors of the study made a note of the fact that although epinephrine is typically the recommended treatment for anaphylaxis, in these particular cases, it was only administered to 45 percent of the cases. The majority of patients (85percent) were treated with antihistamines and 17 (52 percent) were treated with corticosteroids.
The recommendation by those who conducted the study was that, even though anaphylaxis if a rare disorder, it occurs with enough regularity that all vaccine providers should be prepared to stave off this potentially deadly allergic reaction.
If you or a loved one has had a serious reaction to any variety of vaccine, you should consult an attorney who specializes in vaccine law to help you receive the compensation you deserve.