adverse reaction, cutaneous reactions, immunization, influenza, vaccination, vaccine



  1. Mistry, Jenna
  2. Deo, Neha
  3. Vance, Paul DO
  4. Alavi, Afsaneh MD


OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on cutaneous reactions to the influenza vaccine in adults.


DATA SOURCES: Authors systematically searched three databases: PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE.


STUDY SELECTION: Case reports published between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2020 that described a cutaneous reaction to any brand of the influenza vaccine in adults were included. Exclusion criteria included having the wrong study design, pediatric cases, publication prior to 1995, and lack of cutaneous reaction to the vaccine.


DATA EXTRACTION: A total of 232 articles were identified. After duplicate removal, title and abstract screening, and full-text screening, 29 studies were included in the final review. Data extracted included patient sex, age, type of influenza vaccine received, time from vaccine administration to cutaneous reaction, duration of cutaneous reaction, description of cutaneous reactions, treatments used, and the outcome (eg, resolution, reoccurrence, complications).


DATA SYNTHESIS: The mean age of participants was 43.7 years (range, 19-82 years), and 60% were women (n = 18). The most frequent cutaneous reaction that occurred following influenza vaccination included erythematous macules/papules/plaques (n = 17 [56.7%]), vasculitic and purpuric rashes (n = 5 [16.7%]), and maculopapular (morbilliform) rashes (n = 3 [10.0%]). All patients received treatment, and 96.7% (n = 29) of the cutaneous manifestations were resolved. Most studies did not report any further complications upon follow-up.


CONCLUSIONS: Understanding and identifying the relationship between the influenza vaccine and possible cutaneous manifestations can help providers predict and anticipate these adverse effects.