Director of the Vaccine Education Center, Dr. Paul Offit, Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, on Severe Allergic Reactions in Two Patients on the First Day the Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine Was Distributed in the Uk.

December 10, 2020

This issue is not going to die until we have better data.

  • Both of the people who had a severe reaction to the vaccine dose (anaphylactoid reaction), had a history of allergic reactions in the past and carried an epi-pen.
  • “Certainly, vaccines can cause severe allergic reactions. In the United States, roughly one of every 1.4 million doses of vaccines is complicated by a severe allergic reaction.” Offit wants to learn what component of the vaccine caused the reaction.
  • The top UK health authority issued a new warning about giving the vaccine to anyone with a history of “severe allergic reactions” of any kind.
  • Dr. Ollett sits on the FDA advisory panel that voted 17-4 to recommend the FDA issue emergency use authorization to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
  • “Pfizer’s trial protocol shows that people with a history of severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) “to any component of the study intervention” were not able to take part.” (CNN)
  • Why It Matters: The roll-out of the Pfizer COVID-19 was the largest vaccine distribution campaign in UK history. While the clinical study of the new vaccine included 44,000 people and determined 95% efficacy of preventing COVID-19 after two doses, there’s still many questions about the new treatment – including how long it provides immunity.

“As is common with new vaccines the MHRA [Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency] have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday. Both are recovering well.” Stephen Powis, national medical director for NHS England.


by Jenna Lee,