The vaccine against the novel coronavirus that has been developed by Pfizer and BioNTech should not be given to those people who have a history of “significant” allergic reactions, directed the drug regulator of the United Kingdom earlier this week.
Its guidance to British health service trusts about who should be given the vaccine form Pfizer was updated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the UK following experiencing of allergic reactions to the shot by two members of the National Health Service of the country.
According to the national medical director for the NHS, both the individuals are however recovering quite well now.
“Any person with a history of a significant allergic reaction to a vaccine, medicine or food (such as previous history of anaphylactoid reaction or those who have been advised to carry an adrenaline autoinjector) should not receive the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine,” the regulatory agency said.
Such a precaution “is common with new vaccines”, said Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS.
The UK was the first nation that granted emergency use approval for administering the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. A huge vaccination drive was initiated after the approval beginning in hospitals as it was administered first to health and care home workers and those people who were more than 80 years old.
Now that the vaccination process has been started, “real-time vigilance” of the vaccine would now be maintained by the regulator, Dr. June Raine, head of the MHRA, told a UK government select committee on Wednesday.
She said that the regulator had been looking at two case reports of allergic reactions since last evening. She added that the regulator had knowledge, based on the extensive clinical trials that were conducted of the Pfizer vaccine, that this allergic reaction to the vaccine was not a feature of the vaccine. However the regulator now needed to strengthen its advice on the vaccine administration about such allergic reactions to the vaccine taking place in in vulnerable populations and the groups selected as a priority and get that advice immediately to the field workers where the actual vaccination work is being carried out, she said.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)