With Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine already being rolled out in the United Kingdom, experts believes this to be one of the safety measures needed to prevent the further spread of the disease despite reports about allergic reactions to the immunization regimen.
The British’s National Health Services (NHS) released a precaution when two of its healthcare workers reported symptoms of “Anaphylactoid reaction” which is an allergy related to anaphylaxis that can be serious and life threatening.
The symptom includes swelling, shortness of breath and a drop in blood pressure. The names of the patients were not released but each had a history of allergic reactions and carried adrenaline autoinjectors or EpiPens (It’s unclear if they utilized them in this case.) Both workers are said to be “recovering well.”
Based on the new warnings issued, the agency stated that anybody with a significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, food or medicine such as previous history of anaphylactoid reaction or those who have to carry EpiPen should avoid the Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.
According to reports, there are treatments for those suffering from severe allergic reactions with the use of Epinephrine which is usually available in hospitals, clinics and even doctors’ offices where the vaccine will be given.
The UK on Tuesday began the nationwide rollout of the Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine and became the first western nation to do so but prioritize on the older generations and healthcare workers first before proceeding to the general mass. Several thousand people have received the vaccine already.
The country’s medical regulators approved the use of the vaccine last week which comes in two dose regimen.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to hold a public meeting Thursday to decide on an emergency use authorization for the shot.
If the authorization is approved, which most experts predict, the first doses of the vaccine could be administered as soon as this weekend.
Health experts in the US and the UK warned the people of America not to see the vaccination as a bad thing despite some conspiracy theorists taking to social media platforms tot spread misinformation about the vaccine.
“We really don’t have enough information yet,” said Dr. Uché Blackstock, CEO of Advancing Health Equity and a Yahoo News medical contributor. “We don’t know if their reactions were just coincidence or actually caused by the vaccine.”
She also noted that data from clinical trials of the vaccine which involved some 44,000 participants didn’t show any evidence of such cases.
Also worth noting is that a brief meeting released on Tuesday by the FDA reaffirmed the results of the clinical trial which is said to be a whooping 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
“These are two people out of tens of thousands of people,” she added. “So I wouldn’t worry yet.”
Dr. Dara Kass, a Columbia University associate professor of emergency medicine and a Yahoo News medical contributor, agreed.
“As with everything in life, it means going slowly, being deliberate and tracking outcomes,” Kass said. “We don’t know what this means.”