US officials report more severe allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines



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FILE PHOTO: Medical staff member receives Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, USA December 15, 2020. REUTERS / Marco Bello

(Reuters) – The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday it was carefully monitoring allergic reactions to the coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc and urged people who have had a reaction serious not to receive the second dose.

In a conference call with reporters, the U.S. public health agency said allergic reactions were occurring at a rate of 11.1 per 1 million vaccinations. This compared to influenza vaccines, in which such reactions occur at a rate of 1.3 per 1 million shots.

Serious reactions are still “extremely rare,” they said, stressing the need for people to get vaccinated when vaccines become available, given the threat of death and severe illness from the coronavirus which has already taken more than 357,000 dead in the country. United States alone.

The CDC said it is closely monitoring allergic reaction incidents and plans to post weekly updates on its website.

The agency is also urging that sites that dispense the vaccine be prepared not only to recognize serious allergic reactions, known as anaphylaxis, but also to be trained on how to treat them and recognize when people need to. be referred to hospitals for additional care.

CDC officials said 28 people who received the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech had severe allergic reactions. They also noted a case of anaphylaxis, which can cause swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing, after an individual received the Moderna vaccine.

Officials attributed the difference in large part to the fact that the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was cleared earlier than the Moderna vaccine, and said the precautions apply to both.

A study published Wednesday in the CDC’s Weekly Death and Illness Report examining cases between December 14 and 23 identified 21 cases of anaphylaxis after 1,893,360 doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine were administered. Of these, 71% occurred within the first 15 minutes after vaccine administration.

The British medical regulator has said that anyone with a history of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions to a drug or food should not receive the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

Reporting by Michael Erman in New York, Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago, Manas Mishra and Dania Nadeem in Bangalore; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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