UAB monitoring for allergic reactions after COVID vaccine administration

Updated: Dec. 28, 2020 at 9:51 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB health officials say they are confident in the COVID-19 vaccine and its effectiveness and safety.

Officials said people who take immunosuppressive medications can still get the vaccine, but it is unknown if it will be as effective.

UAB’s Dr. Sarah Nafziger said she encourages everyone to look at the ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines to see if you are allergic to anything in it. She said if you have previously had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine, you should not get it.

UAB officials said if you have had a severe allergic reaction to any vaccine before not to take the COVID-19 vaccine for now.

“Individuals who have had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should not receive the vaccine. Because of reports of anaphylactic reactions in people vaccinated outside of clinical trials, the CDC recommends that people who have had a severe allergic reaction to any vaccine or injectable therapy (intramuscular, intravenous, or subcutaneous) should not receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at this time. The ACIP will be making more recommendations in the future on who should and should not receive the vaccines.”

But, once someone does get the vaccine, UAB monitors them.

“One of the requirements to have a vaccine site is you have to have the capability to monitor people for 15 minutes after you receive your vaccination to make sure they are not showing signs of an allergic reaction,” Nafziger said. “We also have to have the capability to take care of them if they start to show those signs. We will be monitoring individuals closely to make sure no one has a problem with it. If anyone does, then we will be there to take care of it.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is two doses, but Dr. Nafziger said it is still effective even with just one dose, just not as strong as if you get both.

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