What to know about allergic reactions to the vaccines

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Recently a batch of coronavirus vaccine was held and reviewed by health officials because several people had reactions.

State epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan said last Wednesday that the review found “no scientific basis” to continue a halt to using a specific batch of the Moderna vaccine.

The state urged a pause to its use after fewer than 10 people in San Diego apparently suffered rare allergic reactions.

Overall, both COVID vaccines are quite safe. Rare cases of anaphylaxis have been reported after the first few million doses of the COVID vaccines in the US: 21 cases after Pfizer and 10 cases after Moderna.

Most reactions occurred within 15-30 min and all cases that we have info on recovered.  

Dr. Stephanie Leonard from Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss allergic reactions to the vaccines.

It is important to distinguish between side effects, immediate allergic or anaphylactic reactions (<4 hours), and delayed symptoms (days to weeks later) that may occur locally in the arm where the vaccine is given.  

Contraindications: People who had an allergic reaction to a previous COVID vaccine, or who have an allergy to a vaccine ingredient or related component should not receive an mRNA COVID vaccine unless cleared by an allergist-immunologist.

Allergies to food, pets, environmental allergens, venom (bees), latex, and oral medications are not contraindications and these people may receive an mRNA COVID vaccine.  

Precautions: It is recommended that those with a history of anaphylaxis, who carry an epinephrine auto-injector, or have an allergy to an injectable medication or another vaccine be monitored for 30 minutes after receiving a COVID vaccine, instead of the normal 15 minutes.  

People with questions about getting a COVID vaccine due to an allergy should speak with their healthcare provider or consider a consultation with an allergist-immunologist.

The risks of getting the virus that causes COVID-19 or developing severe COVID-19 should be weighed against the risks of receiving an mRNA COVID vaccine.

Categories: Coronavirus, Good Morning San Diego, Health