After a long year of dealing with COVID, there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of two FDA-approved vaccinations. While the vaccines are in limited supply and currently being allocated to vulnerable communities first, many are still weighing the pros and cons to figure out if the vaccine is right for them. If you have concerns about the COVID vaccine related to your allergies or asthma, we address them below.
Am I Safe to Get the Vaccine?
Below is a summary of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s published guidelines for who can safely get the vaccine, who should consult with their doctor and who should avoid the vaccine.
You Are Safe to Get the Vaccine If:
- You are 16 or older (Pfizer-BioNTech), or 18 or older (Moderna)
- You are pregnant/nursing
- You have other medical conditions, including asthma
- You have a compromised/suppressed immune system
- You have allergies to foods, pet dander, insects, venom, pollen, dust, latex or oral medicines
- You have a non-serious allergy to other vaccines
- You have a family history of anaphylaxis to anything other than a vaccine/injectable medicine
You Should Talk to Your Doctor First If:
- You have a moderate or acute illness
- You are currently ill with COVID-19
- You have a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine/injectable medicine
- You have a history of an allergic reaction to PEG or polysorbate
You Should Avoid the Vaccine If:
- You have had a severe or immediate allergic reaction to a previous dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
- You have a known allergy to any of the COVID-19 vaccine ingredients
Previous Warnings for Allergy & Asthma Sufferers
If you’ve heard contradictory information about whether you can safely get the vaccine if you have allergies or asthma, it may have been from a broad warning issued by the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) back in December.
This warning that people with a history of severe allergies should avoid the vaccine was issued on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after two people experienced adverse reactions. After further investigation, the MHRA updated their guidelines to state that only people with allergies related to injectable medicines or to the ingredients of the vaccine should avoid it.
One Last Warning
Even if you do get the vaccine, it’s important to continue following hygiene and social distancing guidelines to protect others who haven’t, especially when shopping at the Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market or if visiting older relatives.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Arizona Desert ENT Specialists today.