UK asks severe allergy sufferers to avoid Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine after reaction in two patients

Officials from the British public health service warned this Wednesday (09.12.2020) that people with a history of significant allergic reactions should not receive the vaccine at this time against COVID-19 developed by Pfizer / BioNTech.

Successful recovery

The warning came after two British National Health Service (NHS) workers, who were among the first to receive the vaccine on Tuesday, suffered allergic reactions and they will need treatment.

England's NHS Medical Director Stephen Powis explained that both people, who had a history of allergies, they were recovering properly.

For her part, June Raine, director of the MHRA, confirmed to the Committee of Science and Technology of the British Parliament that there had been two allergic reactions and that this "was not a characteristic" during the tests.

Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said Tuesday that he understood international concern about the speed with which drug companies have produced coronavirus vaccines. But he insisted that all security protocols were respected.

Pfizer: vaccine was "generally well tolerated"

Pfizer claimed that the MHRA had informed them of the allergic reactions, but that during phase 3 clinical trials in more than 40,000 people, the vaccine was "generally well tolerated, with no serious safety concerns reported".

Pfizer told dpa that both the US pharmaceutical company and BioNTech are supporting the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) while conducting an investigation.

Source: Shutterstock

The MHRA, the independent British body that last week became the first in the world to authorize this vaccine, has now advised that "people with a significant history of allergic reactions should not receive it" as a precaution, he added.

"Significant" allergic reactions include drugs, foods or vaccines, according to the MHRA.

United Kingdom, first in the western world to receive the vaccine

Thousands of people in the UK became the first in the Western world to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday when the NHS began the largest vaccination campaign since its creation in 1948.

Source: Shutterstock

The Pfizer / BioNTech Vaccine given in two doses, 21 days apart.

People older than 80 years, their caregivers and health personnel they are the first designated to be vaccinated.

The country has received 800,000 doses of the vaccine in the first batch of a total order of 40 million that should gradually arrive in the coming months.

FEW (AFP, dpa)