These People "Should Not Receive" COVID Vaccine, Experts Warn
"The calvary is here," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, has said about the coronavirus vaccine, which has been proven to be 95% effective. The shot—which is administered in two doses—has also been proven to be safe. Fauci, along with several ex-Presidents, said they'd be happy to take one on live TV. However, there are some side effects—a small pain in the arm for some, a mild fever for others—and on Tuesday, two recipients in the U.K. had a more violent reaction. Two health workers with a "significant history of allergic reactions" developed symptoms of anaphylactoid reaction after receiving the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine. Read on to see if this affects you, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The U.K. Advises "Any Person With a History of a Significant Allergic Reaction" To Not Take the Pfizer BioNtech Vaccine
An anaphylactoid reaction is similar to anaphylaxis, which is "a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction," reports the Mayo Clinic. "The reaction can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to an allergen. Symptoms include a skin rash, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and shock. If not treated right away, usually with epinephrine, it can result in unconsciousness or death."
If you have a previous history of getting them, be cautious before taking the COVID vaccine. In the U.K., authorities are advising you don't take it at all.
"Any person with a history of a significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, medicine or food (such as previous history of anaphylactoid reaction or those who have been advised to carry an adrenaline autoinjector) should not receive the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine," Britain's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which regulates the vaccine, told hospitals yesterday.
If you experience an anaphylactoid reaction after taking the vaccine, don't take the second dose, the agency advised Britons.
The United States has yet to advise Americans on the matter. The COVID vaccine is still awaiting FDA approval.
The Experts Said This Side Effect Was "Very Rare"
"Anaphylaxis is a known, although very rare, side effect with any vaccine. Most people will not get anaphylaxis and the benefits in protecting people against Covid-19 outweigh the risks," said June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA.
"For the general population this does not mean that they would need to be anxious about receiving the vaccination," Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal, which added he also said that "allergic reactions occur with quite a number of vaccines, so the incident wasn't unexpected" and "people often have allergic reactions to some common household foods."
Prof Peter Openshaw, an expert in immunology at Imperial College London, said: "The fact that we know so soon about these two allergic reactions and that the regulator has acted on this to issue precautionary advice shows that this monitoring system is working well," according to the BBC.
Dr. Fauci Advises Caution About the Vaccine if You Have a History of Severe Allergic Reactions
On Wednesday, Dr. Fauci was asked about the issue in a talk with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta during the virtual Q+A "COVID-19: Chasing Science to Save Lives."
"It obviously, Sanjay, is of some concern because there are people who have what's called allergic diathesis or tendencies to get allergic reactions," Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. Yet "it likely is an unusual and rare effect but clearly everyone now is aware of that and will be looking at that — and particularly taking care of people who do have underlying allergic phenomenon, that they may be cautious about vaccination or at least be prepared to respond with some sort of anecdote to the reaction," Fauci said.
"If I were a person that had an underlying allergic tendency, I might want to be prepared that I might get a reaction and therefore be ready to treat it."
As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live, because there's no vaccine in America yet—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.