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

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

Strong allergic reaction after injection

  But, the next day, the media learned that two people reacted badly after injecting a dose of vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Both of these 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 then updated their recommendations for this vaccine.

Adapt recommendations

  Indeed, as The Independent explains, the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency has 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 anaphylactoid reaction or who has been advised to wear an epinephrine auto-injector) should not receive the vaccine. Pfizer / BioNtech, ”notes the Health Agency. 

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 It is necessary for us to enrich our recommendations when vulnerable populations have had this feeling - namely the groups that have been selected as a priority - we are disseminating these recommendations immediately on the ground ".

The risk of allergy exists 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. vaccine. 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, whose data details were 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 following these allergic reactions, for the moment it is not possible to know which compound of this vaccine could have been responsible for this allergy. Now anyone wanting to receive this vaccine in the UK will be asked about their history of allergic reactions. In addition, resuscitation facilities should be available at all times for all vaccinations.