Distinguishing vasovagal episodes from anaphylaxis reactions following immunisation
Immunisation providers must be able to distinguish between a vasovagal episode (faint), convulsion and anaphylaxis.
A vasovagal episode (faint) is relatively common after the vaccination of adults and adolescents, but infants and children rarely faint.
Anaphylaxis following routine vaccination is very rare, but can be fatal.
Sudden loss of consciousness in young children should be presumed to be an anaphylaxis, particularly if a strong central pulse is absent. A strong central pulse (carotid) persists during a vasovagal episode or convulsion.
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