COVID- 19 VACCINE
With the full approval of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, we continue to get questions about vaccination of allergic individuals.
The overall risk for an allergic reaction to vaccines is very low; in general, the incidence is about 1 per million doses given. The risk for allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are about 2-4 per million doses. However, these reactions are not all likely true allergic reactions. The mRNA vaccines do not contain any preservatives or proteins that are allergenic. Allergy to proteins are the cause for most allergic reactions.
There is no evidence that having allergy to foods, medications, stinging insects, latex or inhalants (i.e. pollens, animal dander, mold, dust mite) is associated with an increased risk of an allergic reaction to a vaccine. Having a history of an allergy to these things should not prevent an individual from being vaccinated.
If you have a history of a reaction to a vaccine in the past or a history of allergic reaction to polyethylene glycol or polysorbates (an ingredient in some vaccines) please contact the allergy/immunology office. We can provide guidance and advice for risk stratification and we can give the vaccine in our clinic if that is indicated.
The American College of Allergy and Immunology COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force has stated,
"Individuals with common allergies to medications, foods, inhalants, insects, and latex are no more likely than the general public to have an allergic reaction to the Pfizer-BioNTech [mRNA] COVID-19 vaccine."
We strongly recommend that patients with a history of allergies, asthma, COPD, and immunodeficiencies be vaccinated. We recommend their family members be vaccinated to protect them. We recommend children and adults be vaccinated where it is approved for them. We received our COVID-19 vaccines, and recommend it to our family members, colleagues, staff, and all patients. Recent research has proven that these vaccines are safe even for our most allergic patients.
We will continue to monitor the risk of reactions for the safety of our patients and their families.
This handout put together by the clinic on frequently asked questions about vaccines, who should get them, and side effects which may occur is available.
Dr. Le's Greene County Medical Journal Article on the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines also addresses many concerns our patients may have.
(Please note that the handouts/articles do not constitute as medical advice and one should always consult their personal physician or specialist before engaging in treatments.)