Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report of severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that happened from December 14-23, 2020. These findings suggest that these allergic reactions are extremely rare. The full article can be found here. This article will summarize the findings of this new study on allergic reactions to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
How often did allergic reactions occur?
A summary of the study is as follows:
- As of December 23, 2020, 1,893,360 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were given.
- There were 4,393 (0.2%) adverse events reported.
- There were 175 cases of possible allergic reactions.
- After further review, 86 were non-anaphylactic, 61 were not an allergic reaction, and 7 are still under review
- Overall, 21 cases were determined to be anaphylaxis. The reaction occuring within 15 minutes of vaccinations win 71% of these cases.
The rate of anaphylaxis to this point is estimated to be 11.1 per 1 million doses (approximately 1 per 100,000). So far, 17 of the 21 cases were in people with a documented history of allergies or allergic reactions. Seven people had a history of anaphylaxis. Of these 21 people who experienced anaphylaxis, all of them recovered.
Putting these reactions into context
This report shows that the rate of severe allergic reactions to this vaccine are very rare. The rate of anaphylaxis to the influenza vaccine and intravenous penicillin is 1 per 1 million doses. The image below puts into context the rate of anaphylaxis to this vaccine compared to the death rate in the United States.
Death from COVID-19 in populations at high risk is very significant, and treatment options are limited. Therefore, this new study on allergic reactions to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine continues to affirm that the benefits of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine outweighs the known and potential risks.
As more information becomes available, Oak Brook Allergists will continue to update you with this important subject. If you have any further questions, call us at (630) 574-0460, or use our online appointment request tool.