Severe Allergic or Anaphylactic Food Reactions and the COVID-19 Vaccine

As one who has suffered the severest of allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, on several occasions after nut ingestion, I was quite worried when I heard that the British FDA-equivalent had announced that “any person with a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine, medicine or food should not receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.”

The UK began vaccinating its citizens on 12/8 and two recipients of the vaccine experienced anaphylaxis which required them to utilize the Epipens they were carrying. These two health care workers had previously experienced anaphylaxis (but I haven’t been able to determine what they reacted to.)

When the U.S. CDC issued its guidance to health care providers on administering the vaccine, however, the only contraindication was anaphylaxis to a component of the vaccine:

For those of us with severe food allergies, the question then became, “what are the components of the vaccine?”

At a webinar the held on Sunday the CDC addressed this and other questions . According to Stat News:

Amanda Cohn, an official with the CDC’s Covid-19 vaccine planning unit, said the vaccine consists of messenger RNA and four lipid nanoparticles and that there are no preservatives or other ingredients in the vaccine.

She said people could be allergic to a part of the lipid nanoparticle known as polyethylene glycol, or PEG, which is a component in other injectable medicines. “That is partially the reason for the extra precautions for persons who have (had reactions) to other injectables, Cohn said. “We are being abundantly cautious about this question related to allergic reactions. We don’t want people who have mild allergic reactions to be concerned about getting vaccinated.”

The CDC’s Sarah Mbaeyi, according to Stat News announced that:

“People that do report those types of anaphylactic reactions to other vaccines or injectables — they can still get the vaccine, but they should be counseled about the unknown risks of developing a severe allergic reaction and balance these risks against the benefit of vaccination,”

So those of us who have had anaphylaxis to food or oral medications can breathe a sigh of relief. Apparently there are no nuts or egg or milk components to worry about and we can get the vaccine. Be sure and bring your Epipens!

Other Things To Know About The Vaccine

Microanaphylactically Yours,

-ACP

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11 thoughts on “Severe Allergic or Anaphylactic Food Reactions and the COVID-19 Vaccine”

  1. In the UK three nurses with severe allergies experienced life-threatening anaphylaxis.
    Only after world-wide coverage did Pfizer admit that there was an exclusion criterion for severe allergies.

    Pfizer : ARE THERE ANY OTHER EXCLUSION CRITERIA ?
    NEJM : since you published this trial, have you bothered to at least put a correction on your website ?

    Dr. Peter Marks, Director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said:
    “ Even people who’ve had a severe allergic reaction to food or to something in the environment in the past should be OK to get the shot….
    But 1.6% of the population has had a severe allergic reaction to a food or something in the environment.
    We would really not like to have that many people not be able to receive the vaccine.”

    Dr. Marks, what if someone had an anaphylactic reaction had no Epi-pen just ready and had to travel a half hour to get to the nearest hospital?

    CREDIT: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/12/an-internal-medicine-doctor-and-his-peers-read-the-pfizer-vaccine-study-and-see-red-flags.html

    105 fever is reportable (by Law, no exceptions) as Grade 4 event.
    It existed but was not mentioned.
    Billions of people will be vaccinated…

    Reply
  2. Is Afib a common side effect of vaccines?
    I have had several significant afib episodes and both have followed within a week of receiving a vaccine. The first was after my first and only flu shot (nov 2018) and the second after receiving the first dose if the shingles vaccine (nov 2019)—I never had second shot.
    Should I be concerned?

    Reply
  3. PEG is the “active” ingredient of Miralax and store brand imitators. I suppose the reaction to injecting it would be different from ingesting it??

    I, myself, am allergic to kiwi fruit and have a pen available. My single episode had me with stinging mouth and a moderate breathing restriction for 10 minutes or so, then resolved. Are there more innocent degrees of anaphylaxis?

    I’ve read that it’s the proteins in the kiwi that set off a reaction.
    Are there suspicious looking proteins in this official list of ingredients?:

    “13 DESCRIPTION
    The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is supplied as a frozen suspension in multiple dose vials; each vial must be diluted with 1.8 mL of sterile 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP prior to use to form the vaccine. Each dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine contains 30 mcg of a nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2.
    Each dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine also includes the following ingredients: lipids (0.43 mg (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 0.05 mg 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]- N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 0.09 mg 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, and 0.2 mg cholesterol), 0.01 mg potassium chloride, 0.01 mg monobasic potassium phosphate, 0.36 mg sodium chloride, 0.07 mg dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and 6 mg sucrose. The diluent (0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection, USP) contributes an additional 2.16 mg sodium chloride per dose.
    The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine does not contain preservative. The vial stoppers are not made with natural rubber latex.”

    Reply
  4. It would also be a good idea, if possible, to get an accurate estimate of the percentage of the population in the area where you live and work who plan to be inoculated. In some parts of the USA this might be a small number which would increase one’s chance of getting COVID-19 even after inoculation.

    Reply
  5. I, for one, will not be voluntarily accepting this vaccine. It has not been thoroughly tested, and I too on occasion, have had anaphylaxis (hives, etc.) from ingesting foods in combination-foods that I have been eating my entire life, but now, with certain combinations of them, I have a mild allergic reaction which is sublimated by Benadryl rather than an epi pen. Still, I haven’t been vaccinated against anything since I was a child in the late 1940’s, so I see no reason to start, after watching Vaxxed and Vaxxed II, and personally having observed family members who have become autistic after having been vaccinated. I’ll take my chances, and depend on Almighty God’s will to be done.

    Reply
    • Having multiple allergies and a life threatening anaphylactic allergy to latex, shellfish (chitins) and contrast dye along with nut sensitivity, this makes me uncomfortable. (I have MS as well.) At my age I don’t think I’d take this unless someone could handle an anaphylactic medical emergency. I’ve wondered if I’m just older and unreasonable, but it appears too risky to take, sit for 15 minutes and go home. For certain of us, it seems this should be administered in a medical setting. Not the local CVS. Just wonderin.

      Reply
  6. I believe that the UK is requiring those inoculated to remain for observation for 15 minutes regardless of their previous anaphylactic history. Would it not be sensible to do the same here? If eventually one is offered an inoculation at the CVS pharmacy in Target for example, could one rely on them having the necessary epi-pens to react to an unexpected anaphylactic reaction, or does one need to be in a doctor’s office?

    Reply
    • I heard on the public radio news yesterday that the vaccine shipments will be accompanied with supplies of epinephrine and that the policy will be to have everyone wait for 10 – 15 minutes after the needle.
      We’ll see.

      Reply
    • I’m signing up for it as soon as I can! But I am bringing my Epipens and carefully watching for any other red flags.

      Reply

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