A New York City health official suffered what officials call a “serious side effect” after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The worker who was not identified is stable after treatment for a significant allergic reaction.
“With more than 30,000 COVID-19 vaccinations administered in New York City, we have received a single report of a serious adverse event in a health care professional,” the New York City Health Department said in a statement Wednesday.
It was not clear when or where the health personnel received the vaccine, or how soon after the reaction occurred.
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“The City Health Department is closely monitoring reports of more serious side effects in partnership with the CDC, and this is the first serious side effect we have encountered in New York City,” the department said in a statement. “We will continue to move forward with the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine to ensure that healthcare and nursing home staff and residents are protected against COVID-19.”
While the incidence is the first to be reported in New York, there have been several other reports of side effects throughout the United States. A health worker in Alaska who had an allergic reaction within 10 minutes of receiving the first dose of the vaccine last week is thought to have been the first to be reported in the United States
Since then, at least five further reactions have taken place, prompting the CDC to issue new guidance.
“If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that you do not receive the specific vaccine,” the health agency said. “If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you determine if it is safe for you to be vaccinated. . “
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However, the aforementioned guidance only applies to those who have had severe reactions to vaccines and not others who suffer from severe reactions to other elements such as food.
“The CDC recommends that individuals with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable drugs – such as allergies to food, pets, poison, environment or latex – may still be vaccinated,” the CDC said.
“People with allergies to oral medicine or family history with severe allergic reactions, or who may have had a milder [sic] allergy to vaccines (no anaphylaxis) – can also still be vaccinated. “