COVID-19 Resource Center

COVID-19 Resource Center

December 09, 2020
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UK advises against giving Pfizer vaccine to patients with history of allergic reactions

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Health authorities in the United Kingdom have advised against giving Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to individuals with a history of allergic reaction, CNN and other outlets reported.

The guidance comes in response to two health care workers who experienced symptoms the day after their inoculation.

The U.K. approved the messenger RNA vaccine last week. U.S. regulators are reviewing data from the vaccine to authorize its use in the United States this week.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the U.K. entity responsible for reviewing the safety of medicines, has issued the following general recommendations for use of the vaccine:

  • Medical treatment and supervision are necessary in the event of a rare anaphylactic event during vaccine administration.
  • Vaccine administration should be postponed for patients suffering from acute severe febrile illness.
  • Patients receiving anticoagulant treatment or with a bleeding disorder that contraindicates intramuscular injection should be given the vaccine only if the benefit outweighs the risk of inoculation.
  • Immunocompromised patients may see a diminished immune response to the vaccine.
  • The vaccine may not protect all recipients.
  • No data are available regarding the use of the Pfizer vaccine in people who have received another COVID-19 vaccine.

References

Reynolds E, et al. CNN. Allergy warning for Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine after UK health workers with allergy history suffer reaction. https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/09/health/covid-vaccine-allergies-health-workers-uk-intl-gbr/index.html. Accessed December 9, 2020.

MHRA. REG 174 information for UK healthcare professionals. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/941452/Information_for_healthcare_professionals.pdf. Accessed December 9, 2020.