Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines.
Matic Zorman | Getty Images
The National Institutes of Health said Wednesday that they have begun investigating why some people suffer from severe allergic reactions shortly after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-1
“Understandably, the public has been concerned about reports of rare, severe allergic reactions to the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the NIH, said in a statement.
The information gathered during this trial will help physicians advise people who are very allergic or have a mast cell disorder about the risks and benefits of receiving these two vaccines. For most people, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination however, far greater than the risks., “he said.
Medical experts say allergic reactions from vaccines are rare but can sometimes occur. Most of the rare, severe allergic reactions to the vaccines have occurred in people with allergies, public health officials have said. An immediate allergic reaction usually occurs within 4 hours of vaccination and may include symptoms such as hives, swelling and wheezing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The NIH study will enroll 3,400 adults ages 18 to 69 at up to 35 academic allergy research centers nationwide, the agency said. Participants will be divided into groups and randomly assigned to receive either the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, a placebo followed by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or a placebo followed by the Moderna vaccine.
Alkis Togias, head of NIAID’s allergy, asthma and respiratory biology, told CNBC in December that researchers at the US agency became interested in the rare phenomenon after reports that a few people had reactions to Pfizer’s vaccine, which qualified as anaphylaxis. , a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
The CDC has asked healthcare providers to monitor patients for 15 minutes after vaccination and 30 minutes for those with a history of allergic reactions.
If someone has a severe allergic reaction after receiving the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that they do not receive the second dose of the vaccine even if the allergic reaction was not severe enough to require emergency care.