Published on in Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers
Febrile seizures, which are caused by the rapid rise in temperature, are a common condition in pediatrics, affecting between 3% and 5% of children less than 6 years of age. Although vaccination can cause febrile seizures, little is known about vaccine-induced versus infection-induced febrile seizures in terms of either clinical presentation or outcome.
Recently, Australian researchers examined the clinical outcomes of 1,022 first febrile seizures in children less than 6 years of age who presented to 1 of 5 pediatric hospitals (Deng, L., et al. Postvaccination febrile seizure severity and outcome. Pediatrics. 2019 May;143:(5)). Only 67 of the 1,022 first febrile seizures followed receipt of vaccine, underlining the fact that vaccines are a small contributor to this problem. The authors found that vaccine-induced febrile seizures were clinically indistinguishable from infection-induced febrile seizures regarding risk of prolonged hospitalization (i.e., greater than one day), ICU admission, seizure duration greater than 15 minutes, repeat febrile seizure within 24 hours, or requirement for anti-epileptic drugs at the time of discharge.
The authors concluded, “This is reassuring data for clinicians and parents of children who experience febrile seizures after vaccination and can help guide decisions on revaccination.”
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.