Boston doctor with history of allergies has severe reaction to Moderna vaccine

A doctor in Boston with a history of allergies had a severe allergic reaction to Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.

Hossein Sadrzadeh told CNN that after he was vaccinated at Boston Medical Center on Thursday, he felt his heart rate spike to 150 beats per minute.

Sadrzadeh also told the news outlet that within minutes he “felt in my tongue and also my throat having, like, some weird sensation of tingling and numbness, the same reaction that I had before to my shellfish allergy.” He also said his blood pressure dropped so low a monitor couldn’t detect it.

Sadrzadeh used his EpiPen and was rushed to the emergency room where he was given medications, according to a statement issued by the medical center to The Hill. 

“The employee received the Moderna vaccine Thursday and as is our standard practice was being observed post vaccination by trained nurses,” the statement read. 

“He felt he was developing an allergic reaction and was allowed to self-administer his personal epi-pen,” the statement continued. “He was taken to the Emergency Department, evaluated, treated, observed and discharged.”

The Hill has reached out to Moderna, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for comment.

The incident is the first of its kind reported after Moderna’s vaccine was approved by federal health agencies and distributed and comes as the FDA investigated several reports of allergic reactions into Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine. 

Peter Marks, who leads the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said last weekend a chemical called polyethylene glycol, which is present in both vaccines, “could be the culprit.”

At the time, the agency advised those who’ve had severe reactions to any component of Moderna’s vaccine in the past not to get that shot.

In light of the allergic reactions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance advising those who have severe responses after the first dose not to get a second shot. The agency also says people who are allergic to vaccines or injectable therapies should consult their doctors before getting vaccinated.

However, the CDC notes that those who have a history of severe allergic reactions unrelated to vaccines or injectable medicines — such as food, pet or environmental allergies — may still get vaccinated.

More than 1.94 million people have received their first dose of either Pfizer’s or Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine as of Saturday afternoon, according to a count from the CDC.

Updated 5:25 p.m.

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