“If I were a person with an underlying allergic tendency, I might want to be prepared to have a reaction and therefore be ready to treat it,” said Dr. Fauci in one of Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosted a webcast on CNN, sponsored by Harvard and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. Fauci acknowledged that the problem could affect many people.
“That’s one of the reasons it’s important to cover the waterfront with different vaccine platforms,” he said, adding, “When we actually find out that there is a consistent problem with a certain subset of people like people with allergic reactions, You will always have other vaccine platforms to use and hopefully you won’t see that with those other platforms. “
Should allergy sufferers avoid Pfizer’s vaccine?
Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccines expert at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital, said the initial, sweeping recommendation in the UK to mention severe allergic reactions was an overreaction that could unnecessarily discourage many people from a much-needed vaccine in the midst of a raging pandemic.
Millions of people in the United States are allergic to foods such as eggs or peanuts, as well as drugs or bee stings, and have had reactions so severe that doctors advised them to wear adrenaline injectors. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the vaccine is risky for them, he said. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about five percent of children and four percent of adults in the United States have food allergies.
Less than 1 in a million recipients of other vaccines each year in the U.S. has an anaphylactic reaction, said Dr. Offit.
The road to a coronavirus vaccine ›
Answers to your vaccine questions
As the coronavirus vaccine nears U.S. approval, here are some questions you may be wondering about:
- If I live in the US, when can I get the vaccine? While the exact order of vaccine recipients may vary from state to state, most doctors and residents of long-term care facilities will come first. If you want to understand how this decision is made, this article will help.
- When can I get back to normal life after the vaccination? Life will only get back to normal once society as a whole receives adequate protection against the coronavirus. Once countries have approved a vaccine, they can only vaccinate a few percent of their citizens in the first few months. The unvaccinated majority remain susceptible to infection. A growing number of coronavirus vaccines show robust protection against disease. However, it is also possible that people spread the virus without knowing they are infected because they have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Scientists don’t yet know whether the vaccines will also block the transmission of the coronavirus. Even vaccinated people have to wear masks for the time being, avoid the crowds indoors and so on. Once enough people are vaccinated, it becomes very difficult for the coronavirus to find people at risk to become infected. Depending on how quickly we as a society achieve this goal, life could approach a normal state in autumn 2021.
- Do I still have to wear a mask after the vaccination? Yeah, but not forever. The two vaccines that may be approved this month clearly protect people from contracting Covid-19. However, the clinical trials that produced these results were not designed to determine whether vaccinated people could still spread the coronavirus without developing symptoms. That remains a possibility. We know that people who are naturally infected with the coronavirus can spread it without experiencing a cough or other symptoms. Researchers will study this question intensively when the vaccines are introduced. In the meantime, self-vaccinated people need to think of themselves as potential spreaders.
- Will it hurt What are the side effects? The vaccine against Pfizer and BioNTech, like other typical vaccines, is delivered as a shot in the arm. The injection is no different from the ones you received before. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines, and none of them have reported serious health problems. However, some of them have experienced short-lived symptoms, including pain and flu-like symptoms that usually last a day. It is possible that people will have to plan to take a day off or go to school after the second shot. While these experiences are not pleasant, they are a good sign: they are the result of your own immune system’s encounter with the vaccine and a strong response that ensures lasting immunity.
- Will mRNA vaccines change my genes? No. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use a genetic molecule to boost the immune system. This molecule, known as mRNA, is eventually destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that can fuse with a cell, allowing the molecule to slide inside. The cell uses the mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus that can stimulate the immune system. At any given moment, each of our cells can contain hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules that they produce to make their own proteins. As soon as these proteins are made, our cells use special enzymes to break down the mRNA. The mRNA molecules that our cells make can only survive a few minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is engineered to withstand the cell’s enzymes a little longer, so the cells can make extra viral proteins and trigger a stronger immune response. However, the mRNA can hold for a few days at most before it is destroyed.
These reactions are treatable and much easier to control than a severe case of Covid-19, he said.
Many people with allergies to food, bee stings, or medication have received multiple vaccines without any problems.
As a member of the FDA advisory board that met on Thursday, Dr. Offit for approval of the Pfizer vaccine. However, during the panel’s discussion of allergic reactions, he said, “This problem will not die until we have better data.”