Covid-19 UK: the vaccine not recommended for some after allergic reactions

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The health authorities ask for caution after the allergic reactions of two health professionals vaccinated against Covid-19.

On Tuesday, December 8, the UK launched with great fanfare its Covid-19 vaccination campaign for the elderly and healthcare workers. Under cameras from across Europe, Britains Margaret Keenan, 90, received the first injection of the vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

But the next day, the media learned that two people reacted badly after injecting a dose of vaccine against the new coronavirus. Both members of the UK National Health Service staff developed an allergic reaction. Common point between these two vaccinated, both had a serious history of allergies and always travel with epinephrine auto-injectors. NHS workers reportedly developed symptoms of an anaphylactoid reaction shortly after receiving the vaccine, and both recovered after treatment. In response, the British health authorities updated their recommendations for this vaccine.

Adapt recommendations

In fact, as The Independent explains, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency warned that people with a history of "significant" allergic reactions should not receive the Pfizer - BioNTech vaccine. "Anyone with a history of a significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, drug or food (such as a history of an anaphylactoid reaction or who has been recommended to use an epinephrine autoinjector) should not receive the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine," notes the Agency. of health.

Before a parliamentary committee in the House of Commons, June Raine, patron of the MHRA, returned to this event: "We know from very extensive clinical trials that this was not a characteristic (of the vaccine), but if it is necessary that we enrich our recommendations when vulnerable populations have had this reaction, that is, groups that have been selected as a priority, we are disseminating these recommendations immediately on the ground. "

There is an allergy risk for any vaccine.

For Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, quoted by The Guardian, the risk of allergy still exists: "As with all foods and medicines, there is a very low risk of an allergic reaction to anything. However, it is important to put this risk in perspective. The occurrence of an allergic reaction was one of the factors monitored in the Phase 3 clinical trial of this Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, the data of which was published yesterday. In this case, they reported a very small number of allergic reactions in the vaccine and placebo groups (0.63% and 0.51%). "

An investigation has been opened as a result of these allergic reactions, at the moment it is not possible to know which compound in this vaccine could have been responsible for this allergy. Anyone wishing to receive this vaccine in the UK will now be asked about their history of allergic reactions. Additionally, resuscitation facilities must be available at all times for all vaccinations.

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