It's here—the coronavirus vaccine, the "light at the end of the tunnel" and the beginning of the end of this pandemic. With shots mailed out today from Kalamazoo, Michigan, public health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci are hoping to eventually get at least "75 percent, 80 percent of the population vaccinated" for it to be effective. However, there is a subset of Americans that should not take the COVID vaccine, according to news released today by the Food and Drug Administration. Read on to hear the warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
You Should Not Get the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine if You Have the Following Issues
In the U.K., where the Pfizer-BioNTech has been available since last week, two medical workers who have a history of extreme allergic reactions had an adverse reaction after receiving the new vaccine, leading U.K. authorities to advise anyone with that condition to not take the vaccine.
The USA recommends the same.
According to the FDA's official guidelines, "you should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine if you:
had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine
had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of this vaccine."
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn appeared on State of the Union this morning with host Jake Tapper to discuss this very thing. "Which allergies should and should not prevent Americans from taking the vaccine," asked Tapper.
"Jake, this is so important. We've had a lot of questions," answered Hahn. "And as you can imagine, this is why we do our line-by-line review of the data. So our 'conditions for use'—is what we call them—specifically states that if you have an allergy to any component of the Pfizer BioEnTech vaccine, you should not receive it. We also said that those environments, the places, where the vaccine is going to be given, there should be the tools available to administer medications and support, should someone have a severe reaction allergic reaction."
Hahn added that he didn't feel this was spread for wide concern. "We do not think that this is a, highly frequent issue that will arise, but we do want to be careful because vaccine safety, medical product safety is top of mind for us."
So What's in the Vaccine, so You Can Check the Ingredients?
According to the FDA, "the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine includes the following ingredients: mRNA, lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose."
If you are allergic to any of these ingredients—or worry you may be—discuss them with your medical professional.
Additionally, here's what you should mention to your vaccination providers before you get the Pfizer-Biontech COVID-19 vaccine. Says the FDA: "Tell the vaccination provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
have any allergies
have a fever
have a bleeding disorder or are on a blood thinner
are immunocompromised or are on a medicine that affects your immune system
are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
have received another COVID-19 vaccine."
Dr. Fauci Says those With an Underlying Allergic Tendency Should "Be Cautious"
"If I were a person that had an underlying allergic tendency, I might want to be prepared that I might get a reaction and therefore be ready to treat it," Dr. Fauci said during a talk with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta online, called "COVID-19: Chasing Science to Save Lives." He advised those dealing with it—"that they might be cautious about vaccination, or at least be prepared to respond with some sort of antidote to the allergic reaction."
"Let's say we get 75 percent, 80 percent of the population vaccinated," Fauci said at an online "When Public Health Means Business" event sponsored by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "If we do that, if we do it efficiently enough over the second quarter of 2021, by the time we get to the end of the summer, i.e., the third quarter, we may actually have enough herd immunity protecting our society that as we get to the end of 2021, we can approach very much some degree of normality that is close to where we were before."
As for yourself, follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live, until we're all widely vaccinated—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene and to protect your life and the lives of others, and don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.