United Kingdom’s drug regulator has advised people with a history of significant allergies to not get the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine after two people reported severe adverse reactions on the first day of rollout.
National Health Service medical director Stephen Powis said the advice had been changed after two NHS workers reported anaphylactoid reactions associated with receiving the vaccine.
“As is common with new vaccines the MHRA (regulator) have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination, after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday,” Powis said.
“Both are recovering well.”
The MHRA said it would seek further information, and Pfizer and BioNTech said they were supporting the MHRA’s investigation.
Pfizer has said people with a history of severe adverse allergic reactions to vaccines or the candidate’s ingredients were excluded from their late stage trials, which is reflected in the MHRA’s emergency approval protocol.
The new MHRA guidance, sent out to health professionals, said a much broader segment should not take the vaccine.
“Any person with a history of a significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, medicine or food (such as previous history of anaphylactoid reaction or those who have been advised to carry an adrenaline autoinjector) should not receive the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine,” it said.
It also said resuscitation facilities should be available for all vaccinations.
Last week the United Kingdom became the first nation to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for mass use. The jab is currently being administered on elderly and frontline workers.