Concerned about Covid vaccine allergy? Allergy to Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has been reported as five per million, and 2.5 per million for Madonna Covid -19 vaccine. If you have any concerns regarding a potential risk of an allergic reaction to the mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or the adenovirus vector (Johnson & Johnson), you should get evaluated by an allergist/immunologist. Components of concern in both of these types of vaccines are polyethylene glycol (PEG) which is an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines that has been known to cause anaphylaxis and polysorbate 80 which is an ingredient in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which can also cause anaphylaxis. For both of these components, there is a skin testing available. Contact The Allergy Suite in Novi, Michigan for further information.

Most anaphylactic reactions usually occur within the first 15 to 30 minutes. CDC has recommended that patient be monitored for 15 minutes after each injection for any symptoms of anaphylaxis. If you have a history of anaphylactic reaction to food, medications or vaccines, you should be evaluated by a board-certified allergist. If you experience an anaphylactic reaction after the first injection of the COVID vaccine, you should not receive the second injection of the vaccine until you see an allergist.

If the patient is found to be allergic to PEG, he or she should not receive the mRNA Covid vaccine. If the patient has contraindication to receiving the adenovirus vector COVID-19 vaccine such as a polysorbet 80 allergy, they might be eligible to receiving the mRNA vaccine after thorough investigations by an allergist and negative skin testing to PEG. Even though PEG and polysorbet 80 are cross reactive, most people can tolerate one or the other.

Side effects to the vaccines are predicted and generally should not hold you from getting the vaccine. Side effects can be mistaken for an allergic reaction. Expected side effects are local reaction the site of the injection, swelling of the lymph nodes on the same side of the injection. Other systemic side effects include fever, muscle pain, chills, rigors and general fatigue. These symptoms typically start 12-24 hours after the injection and would last for about 1-2 days.

For patients who have a known chronic hives condition, their hives are expected to flare after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID vaccines, like other vaccine, would trigger your immune system and this might lead to triggering an underlying condition called idiopathic urticaria. This should not be confused with an allergic reaction, but careful reviewing of the timeline of symptoms should be performed by an allergist prior to deciding. Skin testing to vaccine components might be needed as part of that evaluation.  

COVID vaccines are relatively new vaccines, and we have been learning new things by day. Guidelines are based on best practices by experts and based on trials that have been carefully conducted by these experts. Guidelines keep changing, and we at The Allergy Suite follow only evidence-based practices to keep our patients safe while practicing the most advanced state-of-art practices.  

If you have any questions about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and possible COVID-19 allergic reactions, contact The Allergy Suite in Novi.