Allergies and the COVID-19 vaccine--what you need to know

COVID-19 vaccine timeline
COVID-19 vaccine timeline(KFYR)
Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 6:06 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -As health care workers are starting to get the COVID-19 vaccines, a small percentage of people are experiencing allergic reactions.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) said a reaction to the Pfizer vaccine is rare, but anyone allergic to the ingredient polyethylene glycol, which is an ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine, should not get vaccinated right now.

People who have a history of being allergic to vaccines or of having unexplained severe allergic reactions should talk to their doctor or an allergist before getting the vaccine.

Jeffrey Shaw is an allergist at Prevea Health. He said the cases he has seen so far may have a cause other than the vaccine.

“I’m already seeing patients being sent to me for possible allergic reactions,” Shaw said. “When you look at the symptoms their having, it was probably an anxiety attack, so I would recommend if you do have anxiety, or if you get anxious reading those types of materials to relax. Don’t get worked up about the possibility of an allergic reaction because from what we understand, they’re not very common.”

Shaw said that people with common allergies to things like food, pollen or latex are no more likely to have a reaction to the vaccine than most people.

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