The CDC said Saturday that it learned of severe allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, and now recommends if a person has “ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine,” then they “should not get that specific vaccine.”
This does not mean that everyone with bad allergies is barred from getting it.
“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,” the CDC writes on its website.
“People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions, or who might have an milder [sic] allergy to vaccines (no anaphylaxis)—may also still get vaccinated.”
If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines, then the CDC recommends consulting your doctor about whether or not you should get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite the new warning, adverse reactions to the vaccine have been exceedingly rare, as there have been just six allergic reactions recorded out of 272,000 shots given.
All six of the allergic reactions occurred within the recommended observation window, which is 30 minutes for people with a history of severe allergic reactions, and 15 minutes for everyone else.
Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, Alaska, reported this week that two employees had allergic reactions roughly 10 minutes after getting the shot.
Health care workers knew to be on the lookout for allergic reactions after the United Kingdom reported two similar cases with the Pfizer vaccine last week.