While adverse events from a vaccine are rare occurrences, they can and do occur and as a result make a family more hesitant to move forward with subsequent immunizations. So what does the peer-reviewed literature say about a recurrent adverse event from a vaccine administration? Zafack et al. ( 10.1542/peds.2016-3707) have performed a systematic review looking at the literature on adverse events recurring following immunizations (AEFI). The authors found 29 articles estimating the risk of AEFI recurrence in at least five patients. The results are important but will likely not surprise you in regard to the rarity of recurrences reported. Only after a severe event such as a serious allergic reaction, seizure, or hypotonic hyporesponsive episode was reimmunization sometimes not reattempted in the papers reviewed and for those who received subsequent immunization, this review demonstrates the rarity and relative non-severity of most recurrences. We have invited a commentary by infectious disease specialists Drs. Yvonne Maldonado and Sean O’Leary ( 10.1542/peds.2017-1760) who provide additional perspective on why this review is so important in our striving to continue to immunize our patients even after an adverse event such as those described in this review. You may want to use this review when you are trying to give reimmunization your best shot in convincing parents to move forward with a child’s immunization schedule. Check this review out and see what we mean.
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