Evaluating children with suspected allergic reactions to vaccines for infectious diseases

Fabrizio Franceschini, Paolo Bottau, Silvia Caimmi, Fabio Cardinale, Giuseppe Crisafulli, Lucia Liotti, Guido Pellegrini, Diego Peroni, Francesca Saretta, Carla Mastrorilli, Carlo Caffarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Vaccines often contain potentially allergenic material in addition to pathogen-specific immunogens that may induce allergic reactions. Parents and physicians often suspect that adverse reactions to vaccines are allergic in etiology. The concern that some of the substances contained in vaccines may trigger an anaphylactic reaction may lead to a low vaccination adherence with emergence of infectious disease epidemics. Objective: To provide practical suggestions for managing children suspected to have an allergic reaction to a vaccine. Methods: Information was obtained from a search of guidelines and relevant studies on allergic reactions to vaccines for infectious diseases. Results: True allergic reactions elicited by a vaccine are rare. Skin testing to the vaccine and to its components may identify the triggering agent. Graded dosing desensitization is helpful in children sensitized to the offending vaccine. Conclusion: All children with a suspected allergic reaction to a vaccine should be carefully evaluated by routine allergy tests. When it is necessary, further immunization should be given under strict medical surveillance, which ensures that every child can safely complete the vaccination schedule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-183
Number of pages7
JournalAllergy and Asthma Proceedings
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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