U.K. health officials on Wednesday warned that those with a “significant history of allergic reactions” should not take the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech following two incidents involving health care workers who received the shot.
“As is common with new vaccines the [Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency] 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,” Stephen Powis, the national medical director for the National Health Service in England, said in a statement. “Both are recovering well.”
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The agency guidance, which was sent out to health professionals, said that “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.” The agency said it will continue investigating the incidents.
Britain began vaccinations on Tuesday with a focus on the elderly and front-line workers after its regulators became the first to approve the Pfizer vaccine.
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration released an analysis on Tuesday that supported the claim from Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine is 95% effective.
The FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday to look at Pfizer’s emergency use authorization application, and regulatory approval could come soon after the meeting.