Immunization practices and risk of anaphylaxis: a current update, comprehensive of COVID-19 vaccination data

Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2021 Oct 1;21(5):418-425. doi: 10.1097/ACI.0000000000000769.


Purpose of review: This review aims to provide an updated report in regards to the correlation between vaccines and anaphylaxis and the related risk in the population.

Recent findings: Initial reports showed higher incidence of anaphylaxis following messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccines compared with 'routine' vaccinations, likely influenced by the great attention paid to these 'new' vaccines. However, anaphylaxis has still to be considered quite rare and its incidence will be systematically reconsidered in the light of additional data collected.

Summary: Adverse reactions to vaccines are commonly reported but most of them are nonspecific mild events, whereas vaccine-related anaphylaxis is considered a rare event, with an incidence rate equal to 1.3 cases per million vaccine doses administered. As anaphylaxis reports usually start to be reported to passive pharmacovigilance during postmarketing surveillance, the first data are used to be influenced by under- and over-reporting and lack of denominators and following studies are needed to confirm the causal relationship. This might create an initial overcautiously approach to new immunization practices but, being anaphylaxis a potential life-threatening event, every suspected contraindication has to be deepened to maximize effectiveness and safety profile and constantly redefined not to exclude an overestimated population group who could receive the vaccine uneventfully.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis*
  • Anaphylaxis / epidemiology*
  • Anaphylaxis / immunology
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / chemistry
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Vaccines / chemistry


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Vaccines