A New York medical worker has suffered what officials call a “serious adverse event” after receiving the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine. The worker, who has not been identified, is stable after being treated for a significant allergic reaction.
“With more than 30,000 COVID-19 vaccines administered in New York City, we have received only one report of a serious adverse event in a health care worker,” the New York City Department of Health said Wednesday.
It was not clear when or where the health worker received the vaccine or how soon the reaction occurred.
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“The city’s health department is closely following reports of more severe side effects in collaboration with the CDC, and this is the first serious adverse event we have encountered in New York City,” the department said in a statement. We will continue to move forward with the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine to ensure that health care workers and nursing home staff and residents are protected against COVID-19.
While the case is the first to be reported in New York, there have been several other reports of side effects in the US. An Alaska worker who suffered an allergic reaction within 10 minutes of receiving the first dose of vaccine last week is believed to have been the first to be reported in the United States.
Since then, at least five more reactions have emerged, prompting the CDC to issue new guidelines.
“If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that you do not get that specific vaccine,” the health agency said. “If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, you should ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe to get vaccinated.”
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However, the above guide only applies to those who have had severe reactions to vaccines and not to other people who may have severe reactions to other elements, such as food.
“The CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions unrelated to vaccines or injectable drugs – such as food allergies, pets, venom, the environment or latex – continue to be vaccinated,” the CDC said.
“People with a history of oral drug allergies or a family history of severe allergic reactions or who may have had a milder reaction [sic] vaccine allergy (without anaphylaxis) – can still be vaccinated. “