People With Serious Allergies Warned Not to Take Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine. Here’s Why
Ever since the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) gave emergency authorization to the Coronavirus vaccine developed by Germany’s BioNTech and Pfizer, there’s been quite a wave of hope around the world. In fact, with Britain being chosen as the first country to allow the vaccine’s widespread use, other countries are looking forward to local drives beginning at their end as well.
But before the vaccine can be administered on such a large scale, there’s a pressing issue that should be addressed as soon as possible. Not long after Britain began vaccinating its population, cases of side-effects to the vaccine started arising. So much so, that today British people with serious allergies have been warned against being vaccinated.
Why has the UK issued such a warning? More importantly, what does it mean for others who are eager to get the shot? Let’s find out.
Two cases of serious allergies reported
Early in December 2020, the UK commenced its vaccination program with people over 80, nursing home staff, and some NHS workers. Given that the vaccine was authorized in an emergency, the people receiving the vaccine were asked to mandatorily report any side effects so that regulators could understand the vaccine’s efficacy and safety.
On the very first day of the rollout, two NHS staff members who had a history of major allergic reactions responded adversely. However, both have thankfully recovered. Although the authorities did not specify what the reactions were and what was their severity, the MHRA started trying to figure out if they were linked to the vaccine or not.
As a result of this occurrence, the regulators have warned people with a history of serious allergic reactions not to receive this particular vaccine on a precautionary basis. The medical regulatory agency has made it clear that no vaccinations are to be administered without resuscitation equipment.
Pfizer and BioNTech are still working on each case and trying to understand it better. The companies revealed that no serious safety concerns were found during the vaccine’s late-stage trials wherein 42,000 people received the shots. Further, both companies explicitly stated that people who had a track record of allergic reactions to medicines and vaccines were being excluded from the trials.
In addition to these precautions, doctors were asked to look for reactions in the participants who were not previously known to have allergies as well.
To sum it up
Since the rare risks of a drug can only be detected in studies involving millions of participants and not tens and thousands, healthcare authorities must closely monitor all new medications, even in non-emergency conditions. Let’s hope they come up with a solution soon and we can resume the fight against COVID-19.
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