In Florida and other states across the U.S., COVID-19 vaccination is now available for all adults. With this expansion in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines, it’s important to understand potential reactions and allergies to the vaccine. With this information in mind, you can make an educated decision on whether the COVID-19 vaccination is right for you.
The Types of COVID-19 Vaccines Available
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for emergency use. As of April 2021, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been paused, as recommended by the CDC and FDA, due to a small number of rare, severe blood clots in people who received the vaccine.
If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the past three weeks, the CDC recommends that you seek urgent medical care if you develop a severe headache, leg pain, abdominal pain, easy bruising/bleeding, or shortness of breath.
Allergies and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Past Allergies to Vaccines or Injectable Therapies
If you’ve had an immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or injectable therapy, speak with your doctor before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. You may still be able to receive the vaccine.
Allergies to PEG or Polysorbate
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is an ingredient in the mRNA Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Polysorbate is similar to PEG and is an ingredient in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The CDC recommends that anyone with a documented PEG or polysorbate allergy, not receive a COVID-19 vaccine containing that ingredient. At Allergy Tampa, we can test for allergies to PEG and polysorbate, if needed.
Past Severe Allergies Not Related to Vaccines or Injectable Therapies
If you’ve had other allergic reactions to substances not related to vaccines or injectable therapies, you’re recommended to get vaccinated for COVID-19. This is true for people with a history of allergies to foods, insect stings, environmental allergens (pollens, cat, dog, dust mites, molds), latex, and oral medications. As a precaution, you’ll be asked to wait 30 minutes after your shot instead of the regular 15 minutes.
Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
After receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, you may experience side effects as your body develops protection against the virus. These side effects should subside within a few days.
Common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine include:
- Pain, swelling, and/or redness in the arm where the shot was administered
- Muscle pain
You may be able to take certain types of over-the-counter pain medications for pain and discomfort after receiving the vaccine. Talk to your vaccine provider about which medicines you may take after getting your shot.
Contact Allergy Tampa today if you’re worried about COVID-19 vaccine reactions or would like to schedule an allergy test for PEG or polysorbate.