Q:

9/3/2013
Are you aware of any published case reports of fatal acute allergic/anaphylactic reactions to vaccines? (Valid case reports). I could not find any reports.

A:

Thank you for your inquiry.

Anaphylactic reactions to vaccines are extremely rare, but there have been isolated case reports in the literature. Three such are:
1. Walker RH. Fatal anaphylaxis following typhus vaccine injection. US Nav Med Bull, March-April 1948; 48(2):303-305.
2. Curphey TJ. Fatal allergic reaction to influenza vaccine. J Am Med Assoc, April 12, 1947; 133(15):1062-1064.
3. Werne J and Garrow I. Fatal anaphylactic shock; occurrence in identical twins following second injection of diphtheria toxoid and pertussis antigen. J Am Med Assoc, June 29, 1946; 131:730-735.

I am not personally familiar with these cases, and the abstracts are no longer available on line so I could not make a judgment on their validity, but as you can see, they did pass peer review. The titles themselves can be found on PubMed, and it is possible that they could still be ordered through your medical library if you wished to make a judgment on their validity.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology