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ADPH explains COVID-19 vaccine allergy is rare

Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 at 11:11 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public Health reports someone who received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday in Decatur experienced a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

It’s actually just the sixth case nationwide since the vaccines were introduced, and this person had a history of allergic reactions.

The patient was treated immediately under supervision at Decatur Morgan Hospital, where they were administered the vaccine.

“This is our first documented report in Alabama,” said Dr. Karen Landers at ADPH.

The person had a history of a bad reaction to an ingredient in the vaccine, but wanted to get the shot regardless; recipients are asked about their medical history of allergies before they get vaccinated.

“We are not talking about persons who have seasonal allergies or non-anaphylactic food allergies,” explains Landers.

An anaphylactic reaction is considered severe.

“Tightness in their chest, coughing, wheezing, they can also have swelling of the lips and again tightness in the throat,” she gave as examples of anaphylaxis symptoms.

Fortunately, the person who experienced the reaction is stable and recovering.

If you have a history of severe allergic reactions, talk to your doctor about the vaccine to get the best advice.

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