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Out of 25 million vaccines given just 33 people had serious reaction

Staff writer |
A U.S. government study has reassuring news for concerned parents: vaccines rarely trigger serious and potentially fatal allergic reactions.

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Just 33 people had a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, out of 25 million vaccines given, according to research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's 1.3 people in every million who gets a vaccine.

"Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases. This is a good time to remind parents that vaccines are safe and effective - the odds of having an anaphylaxis-related reaction following the administration of a vaccine are very slim," said study author Dr. Michael McNeil, of the CDC.

For the study, the researchers reviewed records from more than 17 million visits and more than 25 million administered vaccines. The vaccines were given from 2009 to 2011.

The researchers identified 380 cases of anaphylaxis, possible anaphylaxis, or allergy. Only 135 of these cases involved children aged 5 years old or younger, the researchers said.

"We identified no cases of anaphylaxis in children less than 4 years old. The median age of our case patients was 17 years old with a range from 4 to 65 years old," McNeil noted in a journal news release.

None of the people who had anaphylaxis died, and only one had to be hospitalized, the study found.

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