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Anaphylaxis following single component measles and rubella immunisation
  1. M Erlewyn-Lajeunesse1,
  2. R Manek2,
  3. R Lingam3,
  4. A Finn3,
  5. A Emond3
  1. 1
    Southampton University Hospital, Southampton, UK
  2. 2
    Freeman Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
  3. 3
    University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Michel Erlewyn-Lajeunesse, Paediatric Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Southampton University Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; Mich.Lajeunesse{at}


Anaphylaxis as an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) is a rare occurrence. We report four cases of anaphylaxis following administration of single component measles or rubella vaccine between January 2003 and June 2007. We estimate that the incidence of anaphylaxis to measles and rubella single component vaccines is 18.9 and 22.4 cases/100 000 doses, respectively. These figures are likely to be an underestimate but are higher than expected. Our calculations were hampered by lack of immunisation reporting data from the private sector. We recommend that NHS standards of vaccine data reporting are also applied to private clinics.

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  • Competing interests: MEL has accepted support to attend and present data at scientific meetings from Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline, and has received research funding from Sanofi Pasteur MSD, the makers of Rudivax and Priorix MMR. AF has undertaken advisory work for, chaired and spoken at symposia organised by and accepted support to attend scientific meetings from all the major vaccine manufacturers. Payments for these activities have been made to his employer, the University of Bristol and used to pay for research and training materials and activities. RM, RL and AE have no conflict of interest to declare.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.

  • Contributors: MEL is the guarantor for this paper. MEL and RM wrote the paper. RL provided background research for the paper. All authors were involved in developing and editing the manuscript.