Two vaccines have now been approved for use in the UK: the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The rollout of the vaccine i
Two vaccines have now been approved for use in the UK: the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The rollout of the vaccine is expected to be significantly speeded up with the approval of the Oxford make, with the Prime Minister saying he wants to have two million people vaccinated a week.
In December, drugs regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that people with a history of “significant” allergic reactions should avoid taking the jab.
The warning was issued after two NHS staff members who suffered allergic reactions after being given the vaccine.
Both workers, who had a “strong past history of allergic reactions” recovered well after receiving the appropriate treatment.
Following the incident, MHRA chief Dr June Raine said in a statement: “Any person with a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine, medicine or food should not receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
“A second dose should not be given to anyone who has experienced anaphylaxis following administration of the first dose of this vaccine.
“Anaphylaxis is a known, although very rare, side effect with any vaccine. Most people will not get anaphylaxis and the benefits in protecting people against Covid-19 outweigh the risks.”
Dr June Raine said growing evidence from a pool of around 800,000 people in the UK and around 1.5 million people in America who have had the vaccine has “raised no additional concerns”.
She said this “gives us further assurance that the risk of anaphylaxis can be managed through standard clinical guidance and an observation period following vaccination of at least 15 minutes.
“And so the Commission on Human Medicines has now advised that anyone with allergy to food or other medicine or vaccine can have the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
“Of course, anyone with a history of allergic reaction to this vaccine, or its ingredients, should not.”
Dr Raine confirmed that this guidance also applied to the Oxford vaccine, which has now begun rollout.
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Which groups should not have the vaccine?
According to the NHS, the following people should not have the Pfizer vaccine:
- Individuals with allergy or hypersensitivity to polyethylene glycol
- Individuals with a previous history of anaphylaxis to any vaccine