Anaphylaxis/Allergic Reaction

What You Need To Know About Anaphylaxis And Anaphylactic Shock After Vaccine Administration

According to an analysis of the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), anaphylactic shock after vaccination is rare, occurring in one or two people per million vaccine administrations.

Vaccines contain many additives other than just the active ingredient. Preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and diluents can contain compounds that cause allergic reactions. These additives may include common food allergens such as eggs, beef, wheat, or gelatin. Patients should always be given a full list of the vaccine’s ingredients before injection.

Although it is not common, the allergic reaction can happen within minutes and requires immediate intervention. Symptoms of anaphylaxis have been recorded anywhere from a few minutes to several hours after injection.

Here’s what you need to know to protect themselves from these reactions:

Which Vaccines Have Been Linked To Anaphylactic Shock?

The following vaccines have been known to cause allergic reactions in some:

Any vaccine has the potential to cause anaphylactic shock. That’s why it’s important to monitor people after receiving a vaccination.

What Are The Symptoms Of Anaphylactic Shock?

Anaphylaxis usually happens 5-30 minutes after being exposed to an allergen. Cases of anaphylactic shock can be mild, moderate, or life-threatening.  Anaphylaxis is different from other allergic reactions because it typically involves more than one system in the body. It can create respiratory problems, skin reactions, cardiovascular effects, or gastrointestinal problems.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Sudden rash
  • Tightening of the throat
  • Inability to talk
  • Increased heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness (in rare cases)

Children and infants who cannot communicate may become pale or have floppy limbs, and may quickly lose consciousness.

There’s also a risk of injury associated with anaphylactic shock, especially if the patient faints suddenly (vasovagal syncope). They may hit their hit while collapsing.

How Is Anaphylaxis Treated?

The type of treatment given for anaphylactic shock depends on the severity of the reaction. In rare cases, a person may need CPR and supportive care. Other emergency treatments may be given, including:

  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Oxygen
  • Beta-agonists
  • Epinephrine

People suffering from anaphylactic shock are typically given epinephrine, which reverses the effect of severe allergic reactions quickly. If a patient has a mild reaction that is not immediately life-threatening, he or she may be given antihistamines or corticosteroids to reverse the effects gradually.

If the patient is carrying an EpiPen or epinephrine autoinjector, using this device immediately may help them recover faster.


US Vaccine Law, the National Vaccine Injury Law Firm has been representing individuals and their families in cases involving Flu Shot Reactions, Gardasil /HPV Reactions, MMR Vaccine Injuries and any case involving the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

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