A warning has been issued that anyone who has a history of “significant” allergic reactions should not be vaccinated against coronavirus using the Pfizer vaccine, The Guardian reports.
Two people, both healthcare workers, who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday had anaphylactoid reactions (potentially life-threatening responses including shock, a sudden drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, nausea, and vomiting) and were fortunately treated promptly.
They both have a significant history of allergic reactions – to the extent where they need to carry an adrenaline pen with them, NHS England said.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has given precautionary advice that anyone who has a history of “significant” allergic reactions to medicines, food or vaccines should not receive the vaccine.
“Significant” means a person has suffered anaphylaxis – a potentially life-threatening reaction which can cause breathing difficulties, confusion, vomiting or collapse – or needs to carry an EpiPen.
Anyone scheduled to receive the vaccine on Wednesday will be asked about their history of allergic reactions.
The MHRA advice states:
“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.
“Resuscitation facilities should be available at all times for all vaccinations. Vaccination should only be carried out in facilities where resuscitation measures are available.”
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS in England, said: “As is common with new vaccines the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday.
“Both are recovering well.”