The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned people with a history of allergic reactions not to receive the recently approved Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The updated guidance comes following two reports of anaphylaxis and one report of a possible allergic reaction following immunisation with the shot.
The agency added that anyone who has experienced anaphylaxis to the first dose of the vaccine should not receive the second dose.
The advice was issued after the MHRA convened an expert group of the Commission on Human Medicines’ (CHM), which was attended by experts in allergy and clinical immunology.
“You can be completely confident that this vaccine has met the MHRA’s robust standards of safety, quality and effectiveness,” said June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA.
“The safety data has also been critically assessed by the government’s independent advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines. No vaccine would be approved unless it meets these stringent standards – on that you can be sure,” she added.
The MHRA has encouraged anyone who is due to receive the vaccine to continue with their appointment and discuss any questions or medical history of serious allergies before receiving the 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.
“Anyone due to receive their vaccine should continue with their appointment and discuss any questions or medical history of serious allergies with the healthcare professional prior to getting the jab,” added Raine.