Does having environmental, food, drug, or other allergies make you worry about getting a COVID-19 vaccine? You’re not alone. There is always apprehension amongst allergy sufferers about anything new, from a new medication to a new laundry detergent, and everything in between!
The Stats on Allergic Reactions After a COVID-19 Vaccine
Medical professionals and researchers have determined that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for most people with allergies based on data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS. According to VAERS, out of the estimated 554 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines given in the U.S. as of February 2022, there have only been 2,363 events reported with anaphylaxis as a symptom, and only 597 of those events were considered serious*. That means you have just a 0.0004% chance of having an anaphylactic reaction from a COVID-19 vaccine. For comparison, the rate of anaphylactic reactions to penicillin is 0.02% to 0.04%, which is up to 100 times more likely than an anaphylactic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine.
Who Should Talk to Their Doctor About Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine?
While COVID-19 vaccines are overwhelmingly safe according to the CDC, there are some exceptions. Individuals that will want to consult with their doctors before getting a shot and take extra safety precautions when being vaccinated include those who have:
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) allergy
If you have an allergy to polyethylene glycol, commonly referred to in ingredient lists as PEG, DO NOT take an mRNA vaccine before talking to an allergy specialist. The two most common mRNA vaccines are manufactured by Pfizer or Moderna. Allergies to PEG are rare.
If you are allergic to polysorbate, DO NOT take a viral vector vaccine. The most common viral vector vaccine is manufactured by J&J/Janssen. Allergies to polysorbate are rare.
Allergic reaction to any vaccine or vaccine ingredients
DO NOT take a COVID-19 vaccine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Instead, consult with your doctor about which alternative COVID-19 vaccine is right for you.
If you have a history of any type of allergic reaction to other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine may still be safe for you. You will want to review the ingredient list with your doctor, only take the vaccine at a location capable of handling a medical emergency, and be monitored for at least 30 minutes after the injection.
History of anaphylaxis for any reason
If you have a history of anaphylaxis, no matter the cause, you should only take a COVID-19 vaccine at a location that can handle a medical emergency and be monitored for at least 30 minutes after the injection.
What If I Have an Allergic Reaction to a COVID-19 Vaccine?
If you are still at the vaccination site when you experience the symptoms of an allergic reaction, immediately report this to the vaccination providers. They can administer rapid emergency care and have you transported to a nearby hospital if needed.
If you have already left the vaccination site and begin having an allergic reaction, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. Always be sure your doctor, the hospital, or you yourself report the adverse reaction to VAERS.
* ”Events are classified as serious when any of the following outcomes are associated with the event: Death, Permanent Disability, Life-Threatening, Hospitalized, Existing Hospitalization Prolonged, Congenital Anomaly or Birth Defect.” (CDC)
If you are unsure if you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine or another vaccine due to allergy concerns, speak with an allergy specialist. The specialists at AllergyTampa.com are ready to help sort out any vaccine or medication allergies. Call us for an appointment today.