The CDC has issued updated interim clinical considerations for use of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the United States and interim considerations for preparing for the potential management of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that occurs rarely after vaccination. In addition to screening for contraindications and precautions before administering COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine locations should have the necessary supplies available to manage anaphylaxis, should implement post-vaccination observation periods, and should immediately treat persons experiencing anaphylaxis signs and symptoms with an intramuscular injection of epinephrine.
CDC and FDA received notification of suspected anaphylaxis cases through multiple channels, including direct outreach by healthcare providers and public health officials and reports to VAERS, the national passive surveillance (spontaneous reporting) system for adverse events after immunization, which is jointly operated by CDC and FDA. During December 14-23, 2020, monitoring by the VAERS detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administration of a reported 1,893,360 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (11.1 cases per million doses); 71% of these occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination.
The medical community, CDC, and FDA are strongly encouraging everyone who is physically able, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is probably good advice, however, please be sure that you are educated on the risks if you have a history of severe allergies/anaphylaxis. Find additional CDC resources and a vaccine toolkit at the HealthCap Resource and Education Center! Stay the course, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!