Well being Care Employee Had Severe Allergic Response After Pfizer’s Covid Vaccine

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Health Care Worker Had Serious Allergic Reaction After Pfizer's Covid Vaccine

WASHINGTON – A health worker in Alaska had a severe allergic reaction after receiving Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine Tuesday and was hospitalized, according to three people familiar with official reports on the person's health. The person is in a stable condition.

Government officials tried Wednesday to learn more about the case. It was not immediately clear if the worker had any past allergies, making it difficult to assess the greater significance of the incident, as millions of Americans will be vaccinated in the coming weeks. The reaction was thought to be similar to the anaphylactic reactions two health workers in the UK had after receiving the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine last week. Both recovered.

In the company's study in the United States of more than 40,000 people, no serious adverse events were identified from the vaccine, although many participants experienced pain, fever, and other side effects. Serious allergic reactions to vaccines are typically associated with the vaccine because of their timing.

A Pfizer representative did not immediately comment on the case.

After workers in the UK fell ill, UK authorities first warned against giving the vaccines to anyone with a history of severe allergic reactions, but then resolved their concerns and changed the wording from "Severe Allergic Reactions" to stipulate that the Vaccine should not be given to anyone who has ever had an anaphylactic reaction to a food, drug, or vaccine. That type of response to a vaccine is "very rare," they said.

Pfizer officials said the two Britons who had the reaction had severe allergies in the past. A 49-year-old woman has had egg allergies in the past. The other, a 40-year-old woman, had a history of allergies to various drugs. Both wore EpiPen-like devices to inject adrenaline in the event of such a reaction.

Pfizer has said that its vaccine has no egg ingredients.

The UK update also said a third patient had a "possible allergic reaction" but did not describe it.

In the United States, federal regulators on Friday gave adults 16 years and older a full approval for the vaccine. Healthcare providers have been warned not to give the vaccine to anyone with a "known history of a severe allergic reaction" to any component of the vaccine. This is a standard warning for vaccines.

But because of the British cases, F.D.A. Officials said they would ask Pfizer to step up surveillance for anaphylaxis and provide data on it once the vaccine comes into use. Pfizer also said that it is recommended that the vaccine be given in environments that have access to anaphylaxis treatment equipment. Last weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that people with severe allergies can be safely vaccinated, with close monitoring for 30 minutes after receiving the shot.

Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, with difficulty breathing and drops in blood pressure that usually occur within minutes or even seconds of exposure to a food or drug, or even a substance such as latex, to which the person is allergic.

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