Study shows low risk of side effects after revaccination

Girl getting a vaccinationMost parents whose children have had an adverse reaction to a vaccination don’t need to be too concerned it will happen again, according to a recent study published in the September 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics journal Pediatrics.

Patients who have experienced adverse reactions to vaccines — such as pain and redness, fever and allergy-type symptoms — are unlikely to have the same problem occur when receiving the next inoculation, according to the study “Risk of Recurrence of Adverse Events Following Immunization: A Systematic Review."

Researchers reviewed 29 studies published between 1982 and 2016 on the outcome of re-immunization for patients who previously experienced an adverse effect after a vaccination. Most studies included only children 18 years or younger, and 12 reviewed studies included only children 6 years old or younger.

Based on the review, researchers concluded that reimmunization appears to be safe for patients with mild to moderate adverse effects. Moderate reactions, such as decreased appetite, vomiting, fever, sleepiness and allergic-like reactions, ranged from 4 to 48 percent upon reimmunization, according to the report, and recurrences were generally less severe or similar to the initial episode. Researchers found the risk of recurrence of serious events, such as anaphylaxis and seizures, was approximately 1 percent, although research on these patients was limited.

Because patients who have severe reactions often decline future immunizations, there is limited information about them, and high-quality studies estimating the vaccine-specific risk of recurrence and predictors of recurrence are needed to further inform doctors and patients.

By Crickett Gibbons

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