Allergy & COVID-19 Vaccines
Dear patients, We would like to provide you with some information on the subject of allergic reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines.
In the webinar “COVID-19 Vaccines: The Allergology and Immunological Perspective”, which was hosted by GAAPP in December 2021, Purvi Parikh, MD, FACAAI, FACP explains how the different COVID-19 vaccines work, and what their possible side effects for patients with allergies or atopic diseases are. Moreover, she clears up misconceptions about the contraindication of the vaccine for some chronic respiratory and atopic diseases. You can watch the recording or read its summarized content below:
In principle, allergic or anaphylactic reactions can occur in very rare cases (1 case per 100,000 to 1 million vaccinations) with every vaccination (not only against COVID-19). It can be either the vaccine itself or adjuvants/additives in the vaccine that cause the allergic reaction.
There is no evidence of increased risk (compared with the normal population) associated with COVID-19 vaccination with the approved vaccines for patients with the following diseases in the allergic/atopic group:
The patient groups listed here do not require a special examination (skin or blood test) prior to vaccination.
Allergic reactions to COVID-19 Vaccines vaccines mean the sudden occurrence of skin symptoms with shortness of breath and/or circulatory reaction, which have required immediate medical therapy. In this case, we advise prior allergic clarification (assessment of the individual situation by an allergist) before COVID-19 vaccination and/or vaccination in increased risk. This includes a 30-minute follow-up. (An emergency kit incl. adrenaline pen must be on-site).
Please note that the ingredients of the vaccine solutions are not available as tested test allergens.
Patients with a known previous severe allergic reaction to ingredients of the vaccine or to the first COVID19 vaccination must not be vaccinated.
Among others, the following ingredients may play a role:
Polyethylene glycol (= macrogol)
Check our COVID-19 Statements & Resources for more in-country information.
Source: 1 Worm M et al. Anaphylaxie-Risiko bei Covid-19 Impfung – Empfehlungen für das praktische Management. MMW Fortschr Med. 2021 Jan;163(1):48-52; 2 Klimek L et al. Severe allergic reactions after COVID-19-Vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine in Great Britain and USA Position Statement of the German allergological Societies AeDA, DGAKI and GPA. Allergo Journal Inter-national 2021; in press; 3 Kleine-Tebbe et al. Schwere allergische Reaktionen auf die Covid-19-Impfung – Stellungnahme und praktische Konsequenzen. Allergologie, Jahrgang 44, Nr. 1/2021, S. 7