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Allergists Affirm Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines for Most

THURSDAY, Jan. 7, 2021 -- In a special article published online Dec. 30 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, reassurance is provided regarding potential allergic reactions to mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations.

Aleena Banerji, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues summarized allergy epidemiology and proposed risk stratification schema for individuals with allergy history to safely receive their COVID-19 vaccine and for those who develop a reaction to their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The authors note that in the United Kingdom, there were two reports of severe allergic reactions within 48 hours prompting treatment with epinephrine. Guidance for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine specifies not to administer to individuals with a known history of a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine. Subsequent to reported reactions in health care workers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that all patients should be observed for 15 minutes after COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of allergy history, and that vaccination staff should be trained in management of anaphylaxis. Persons who have had a severe allergic reaction to any vaccine or injectable therapy should discuss the risk for receiving the vaccine with their doctor and be monitored for 30 minutes after vaccination. Patients who had a severe allergic reaction to an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should not receive a second dose.

"As allergists, we want to encourage vaccination by reassuring the public that both FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe," Banerji said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry and holds patents in related fields.

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Posted: January 2021

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