Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine may result in more allergic reactions than expected when compared to other vaccines, although it’s still rare, Operation Warp Speed’s chief scientific adviser Dr. Moncef Slaoui said during a recent interview.
The doctor told CNN Wednesday that the allergic reaction frequency “is superior to what one would expect with other vaccines,” although he was aware of only six cases as of Tuesday, out of more than a million inoculations given.
Other experts say the vaccine is safe for most people, even those who have mild allergies.
“You’ve seen a lot of publicity over a couple of severe allergy cases,” Fox News medical analyst Dr. Marc Siegel told “Fox & Friends” on Monday. “For the vast majority of people, and I mean millions, there’s no concern whatsoever.”
The Food and Drug Administration said last week it was investigating at least five cases in which recipients reacted adversely to the vaccine, Reuters reported Friday.
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said it could be linked to the chemical polyethylene glycol, which is an ingredient used in both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most Americans with allergies should receive the vaccine – unless they have had previous severe reactions to other vaccines or ingredients used in the COVID-19 inoculations.
“If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, you should ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine,” the CDC says. “Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.”
CDC guidelines also advise monitoring vaccine recipients for 15 minutes to make sure they don’t suffer an allergic reaction, and vaccine providers should have treatments on hand in case an allergic reaction does occur.