Anaphylaxis following vaccination in community settings: Visual aid for diagnosis and management

Know how to recognize anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is defined by a rapid onset of symptoms, anywhere between minutes up to 4 hours.

Distinguishing features of anaphylaxis

If you suspect anaphylaxis

If you suspect anaphylaxis, a rapid response is critical.

Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 should be done promptly and simultaneously.

  1. Direct someone to call 9-1-1 (where available) or emergency medical services
  2. Assess airway, breathing, circulation
  3. Place the individual on their back and elevate lower extremities
  4. Inject EPINEPHrine intramuscularly into mid-anterolateral thigh (refer to epinephrine dosage table)
  5. Repeat every 5 minutes if not improving


Public Health Agency of Canada. Anaphylaxis and other acute reactions following immunization: Canadian Immunization Guide: Part 2 – Vaccine Safety Ottawa (ON): PHAC; 2020.

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