Should people with allergies get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Coronavirus Updates

A table sits ready with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine on it for U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the White House in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2020. (REUTERS/Cheriss May)

(ABC4 News) — As the new COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed throughout Utah and the United States, questions and concerns are surfacing.

As vaccines become more available, many people who have allergies are worried about the side effects they could potentially face after receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, if you have ever experienced a severe reaction to any ingredient contained in the COVID-19 vaccine you should not get vaccinated.

The CDC says they have received reports that some people have experienced a severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis, after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. “As an example, an allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen or if they must go to the hospital,” as stated by the CDC.

For those who experience a severe allergic reaction after getting vaccinated, their vaccination provider will send a report to the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System, VAERS. VAERS is the national system that collects reports from healthcare professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the public about adverse events that happen after vaccination.

So what about those who has sever food or pet allergies, should they worry about vaccine reactions?

“CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as allergies to food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex—may still get vaccinated,” as stated by the CDC.

If you’re on the list of people who has a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies in the past, the CDC recommends you ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Anyone who does have any type of severe allergic reaction after getting the first shot, should not get the second shot.

The CDC says side effects are typical with many vaccines. These side effects are “normal signs that your body is building protection,” the CDC states.

Vaccine side effects are usually mild and go away after a few days.

Common side effects may include pain or swelling on the arm where you got the shot. Some people experience a fever, chills, tiredness, or a headache throughout the rest of their body after receiving a vaccine.


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