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Child vaccine anaphylaxis ‘rare’

Anaphylaxis following immunisation is rare and there are no incidents associated with routine infant vaccinations, finds a UK analysis.

The study looked at children under 16 in the UK and Ireland with suspected anaphylaxis following immunisation and found an estimated incidence was 12 per 100,000 doses for the single component measles vaccine and 1.4 cases per million doses for the bivalent HPV vaccine (Cervarix).

The study looked at all the cases reported through the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit between September 2008 and October 2009, and no incidents were associated with vaccines given in the routine infant and preschool immunisation programme – including MMR and the influenza vaccine - despite over 5.5 million vaccines being given during the study period.

Of the seven children who did experience anaphylaxis following immunisation, four children reacted more than 30 minutes after administration of the vaccine.  And the researchers suggest that children at high-risk of anaphylaxis may need an observation time of up to an hour following immunisation.

Study lead Dr Michel Erlewyn-Lajeunesse, consultant in paediatric allergy at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘This is extremely reassuring data for the general public and healthcare workers alike.'


Arch Dis Child 2012, published early online 23 January


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