On January 6, according to the center for disease and control, out of the first 1.9 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine administered in the United States, only 21 reported cases of severe reactions to the vaccine were recorded.
“These are safe and effective vaccines. We have good data to show that,” Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a statement. “The country’s surveillance systems for vaccine side effects are incredibly robust,” she added.
Anaphylaxis is a common occurrence in people allergic to the vaccine
The CDC has directed sites that administer the Covid-19 vaccine to recognize the signs of anaphylaxis—which, if it occurs, would most likely happen shortly after vaccination—and be prepared to treat it. The CDC officials also warned the sites to be alert for people who have a history of anaphylaxis, as they should also be observed for 30 minutes after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening, requires emergency treatment with epinephrine. The United Kingdom was the first to report allergic reactions to the vaccine, after it started immunizing its population against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine on December 8.
Reason for the severe reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is still unknown
Officials still have no idea of the reason behind the severe reactions witnessed in the 21 cases.
Death from the reaction to the vaccine has not been recorded. Nineteen of the 21 people recorded were treated with epinephrine and four were hospitalized. Seven of the people in the report had experienced anaphylaxis in the past. CDC’s officials have directed the public to alert the person administering the vaccine if they have a history of anaphylaxis.
The rate of anaphylaxis seen so far — 11.1 cases per 1 million vaccine doses—is higher than for the flu vaccine, which is 1.3 cases per 1 million doses.