Alaska healthcare worker suffers an allergic reaction to Covid-19 vaccine, Pfizer to assess the report

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Dec 17, 2020, 10:42 AM(IST)

File Photo Photograph:( AFP )

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During a media briefing Wednesday, health officials said the middle-aged woman had no history of allergies and had never experienced anaphylaxis, a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction.

A health care worker in Alaska developed a severe allergic reaction shortly after receiving the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday evening and had to be hospitalized overnight.

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During a media briefing Wednesday, health officials said the middle-aged woman had no history of allergies and had never experienced anaphylaxis, a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction.

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The woman is now stable, public health authorities said.

The reaction was reportedly similar to the anaphylactic shock suffered by multiple healthcare workers in the UK, where the Pfizer-BioNTech jab was approved earlier this month.

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Britain’s medical regulator has said that anyone with a history of anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reactions to medicine or food, should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said that most Americans with allergies should be safe to receive the vaccine. It said only people who have previously had severe allergic reactions to vaccines or ingredients in this particular vaccine should avoid getting the shot.

The symptoms in the middle-aged patient resolved after being administered with allergy treatment epinephrine.

The patient was still in Juneau’s Bartlett Regional Hospital being monitored.

Pfizer said the vaccine comes with a clear warning that appropriate medical treatment and supervision should always be readily available in case of anaphylaxis, but it would update the labeling language for the vaccine if needed.

Administration of the vaccine began Monday in the United States, following emergency-use authorization last week. Early doses have been set aside for healthcare workers and nursing home residents

Former FDA Chief Scientist Jesse Goodman called the allergic reaction concerning but said that more information must be known in order to better understand the risks.

“What we need to know is what the denominator is -- how many doses have been given? Is this going to be something that’s going to be seen at a higher incidence with this vaccine than with others?” Goodman said. “We’re going to have to find out those things to inform whether that changes recommendations or how this is used.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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