Allergic reaction to your first COVID vaccine? The risk of another is low

Allergic reaction to your first COVID vaccine?  The risk of another is low

So you had a severe allergic reaction to your first COVID-19 vaccine. Does it condemn you to the same after your second shot?

Apparently not, claims a new analysis that found the risk of a second vaccine dose reaction is extremely low.

Currently, the recommendation for someone who has had a severe reaction to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is not to receive another. But of more than 1,300 patients who had a severe allergic reaction to a first shot, almost 100% tolerated a second shot, the researchers found.

By severe allergic reaction, researchers mean swelling and closing of the airways, called anaphylaxismaking it difficult to breathe and can be fatal.

“People who have had an immediate allergic reaction to the first dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine can be safely revaccinated and given a second dose under the supervision of an allergist, allowing people to be able to receive a full series of vaccinations,” said lead researcher Dr Matthew Greenhawt. He is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora.

“This has the potential to change current practices and further prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and the severe consequences of COVID-19,” he added.

For the study, Greenhawt’s team analyzed 22 previously published studies, which included more than 1,300 adults who had an immediate allergic reaction to their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

By pooling their data, a process known as meta-analysis, the researchers found that six patients had an immediate allergic reaction after their second injection. Nearly 14% had a mild allergic reaction, but more than 99% tolerated the second injection.

Among 78 people who had a serious immediate allergic reaction to their first vaccination, four had a serious immediate reaction to their second injection and 15 had mild symptoms, and no one died from their allergic reaction, the researchers reported. .

The results were published online February 21 in JAMA internal medicine.

Dr. Matthew Harris is Medical Director of Northwell Health’s COVID-19 Immunization Program in New Hyde Park, NY. He said: “It is reassuring that there have been hundreds of millions of doses administered worldwide, and the absolute risk of anaphylaxis is remarkably rare. , and I think that strengthens the safety profile of these important vaccines.”

Harris noted that when vaccines were new, people who had even mild reactions, like urticaria, were referred to an allergist. But these results show that it’s safe to get a second shot and even an encore.

“I think the study is pretty clear that it’s extremely safe to go ahead and get that booster,” he said.

If patients are hesitant about getting a second shot or a booster, Harris suggests having a discussion with their doctor or an allergist.

He also pointed out that allergy sufferers are often the ones at high risk of developing a severe COVID-19 attack and can really benefit from a full vaccination.

Harris added that a life-threatening reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine is very rare.

“At Northwell, I review every vaccine-related adverse medical event, and we’ve vaccinated 700,000 community members and 65,000 other team members, and I can tell you that over the past nine months, I can’t remember a single episode of anaphylaxis,” he said.

More information

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations, go to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Matthew Greenhawt, MD, professor of pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora; Matthew Harris, MD, medical director, Northwell Health COVID-19 Vaccination Program, New Hyde Park, NY; JAMA internal medicineFebruary 21, 2022, online

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