UK issues warning about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

People with “significant” allergic reactions are being warned not to get Pfizer’s new coronavirus vaccine — after two people needed treatment after being jabbed on the day it was launched in the UK.

The unidentified duo — both staff in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) — needed treatment for an “anaphylactoid reaction” Tuesday after they were among the first in the world to get the shot.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) immediately issued precautionary advice against vaccinating anyone with a history of “significant” allergic reactions to medicines, food or vaccines.

“Two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday,” said professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS in England, adding that “both are recovering well.”

“The MHRA have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination,” he said, insisting the advice was “common with new vaccines.”

A nurse prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy's Hospital in London
A nurse prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London.

The head of the regulatory agency, Dr. June Raine, noted the adverse responses to the vaccine while reporting to a Parliament committee Wednesday.

“We know from the very extensive clinical trials that this wasn’t a feature,” she said.

“But if we need to strengthen our advice, now that we have had this experience with the vulnerable populations, the groups who have been selected as a priority, we get that advice to the field immediately.”

With Post wires

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