Regulators of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have warned that people with a history of severe allergic reactions should stay away from the jab.
The warning comes after two NHS workers had an allergic reaction to the vaccine earlier this week.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has now labelled those who have severe food, medicine or vaccines as unsuitable for taking the COVID jab.
Medical director for the NHS in England, Professor Stephen Powis has confirmed that the two NHS workers that had reactions to the vaccine have now been treated and are fine.
But, it was understood that the two had an anaphylactoid reaction which results in a rash, breathing issues, and a drop in blood pressure. It must be noted that this reaction is indeed different from that of an anaphylactic shock, which can be deadly.
Powis said the reaction is ‘common with new vaccines’ and described the warning as merely a precautionary measure.
It has also been acknowledged that although this kind of reaction to vaccines is uncommon, it isn’t limited to the coronavirus vaccine but can also occur with flu jabs as well as a number of other vaccines.
An expert in immunology at the Imperial College London, Professor Peter Openshaw has confirmed that the response to the NHS workers’ reaction proves that vaccine monitoring is working very well. He stated:
The fact that we know so soon about these two allergic reactions and that the regulator has acted on this to issue precautionary advice shows that this monitoring system is working well.
Most people should still opt for the vaccine
However, this allergy warning is for the select few who do have a history of allergic reactions and by no means does this mean that the vaccine is unsafe.
Only two out of the thousands of people vaccinated on Tuesday had an allergic reaction whereas one in every thousand people in the UK have died from coronavirusover the course of the year.
In total the UK has reached over 62,000 deaths from the coronavirus and that number is still on the rise.
So far, the vaccine trials have seen one in 1000 people have an allergic reaction that could be related to the jab. So while the MHRA has issued advice to those relevant few, the situation for the majority of people hasn’t changed and the vaccine is the best and possibly only option to control the spread of the deadly virus.