People with allergies warned against taking Covid jab after two fall ill in UK
London, Dec. 9, 2020 (AltAfrica)-People with a history of “significant” allergic reactions have been told not to take the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine after two NHS workers who received the jab had “adverse” reactions.
NHS England confirmed that two staff members who were administered doses on Tuesday – on the first day of the mass vaccination programme – suffered an allergic reaction.
Both workers, who had a history of “significant allergic reactions”, are recovering, it is understood.
After the incident, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) told NHS trusts that anyone who has a history of “significant” allergic reactions should not receive the vaccine
This includes reactions to medicines, food or vaccines.
Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, which approved the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, told the Commons Science and Technology Committee that regulators had been aware since Tuesday night that two people who had received the vaccination had experienced allergic reactions.
She said that careful plans had been made for “real-time vigilance” when monitoring side effects from vaccinations and that any updates to advice for patients would be communicated “immediately”.
“The role is before, during and after, and there is a true end-to-end looking from the scientific laboratory bench through to the patient who yesterday first received the vaccine,” she said.
“As an illustration to this, I may share with the committee that even last evening we were looking at two case reports of allergic reaction.
“We know from the very extensive clinical trials that this wasn’t a feature but if we need to strengthen our advice now that we have had this experience in the vulnerable populations … we will get that advice to the field immediately.”
The NHS in England said all trusts involved with the vaccination programme had been informed.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS in England, said: “As is common with new vaccines, the MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday.
“Both are recovering well.”
Dr Raine said regulators in the US are looking to conclude their review of the vaccine shortly.
“It is my understanding that the Food and Drug Administration will be looking this week to conclude their review, and the European Medicines Agency fairly shortly thereafter,” she told the Commons Science and Technology Committee.
“The data packages for the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine have been arriving, we do expect a further package in the coming days,” she told the Commons Science and Technology and Health and Social Care committees.