Allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccines ‘rare’, ‘in line with expectations’: Experts

Updated on Dec 26, 2020 04:48 PM IST

Dr Ashish K Jha, Dean, Brown University School of Public Health, said that over a million people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and less than 10 people have had allergic reactions.

US health agencies have already been investigating at least six cases of allergic reactions after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.(REUTERS)
US health agencies have already been investigating at least six cases of allergic reactions after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.(REUTERS)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Kunal Gaurav

The allergic reactions to vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are totally in line with expectations, an Indian American public health expert said on Friday. Dr Ashish K Jha, the dean of Brown University School of Public Health, said more than a million people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and less than 10 people have had allergic reactions, highlighting that one in 2,000 courses of penicillin also leads to an allergic reaction.

Jha’s comment came after media reports about a US doctor reportedly suffering a severe allergic reaction to Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine surfaced. US health agencies have already been investigating at least six cases of allergic reactions after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“To be clear, we absolutely should identify, publicly report these reactions...But this is the most high profile roll out of a vaccine in recent history...Am pleasantly surprised how well its going...Its early -- but so far, these reactions are totally in line with expectations,” he tweeted.

 

Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist, said that severe allergic reactions to vaccines based on mRNA technology have a potentially higher frequency than flu, HPV, MMR vaccines. However, the ratio is one in 50,000 or maybe a million, which is “still rare”, he tweeted.

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The United States began its Covid-19 vaccination drive after the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorisation to Pfizer-BioNTech, followed by Moderna. Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump’s Covid-19 vaccine czar had reportedly said that the frequency of allergic reactions to Pfizer’s vaccine is greater than expected.

“That frequency, as it stood yesterday (December 22), is superior to what one would expect with other vaccines,” Dr Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, was quoted as saying by CNN.

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