It is still too early to have a definitive opinion on the side effects of the very first mRNA vaccine, but the first data allow us to assess the number of violent reactions: so far, one in 100,000 people has had an allergic shock to the vaccine. Pfizer. The current investigations seek to determine the causes and the suspicions relate to the presence of a substance commonly used in consumer products.
One in about 100,000 people has had a serious allergic reaction after receiving a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus, announced Wednesday the US health authorities, stressing that the benefits of vaccination were far greater than the potential risks. The figure was calculated by Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), who identified 21 cases of anaphylactic shock, a severe allergic reaction, out of a total of 1,893,360 injections of vaccine performed between December 14 and 23.
« On average, this represents a rate of 11.1 anaphylactic shocks per million doses administered “, Explained to journalists Nancy Messonnier, an official of the CDC. For comparison, vaccines against influenza cause approximately 1.3 anaphylactic shock per million doses.
Even if the rate for the vaccine of Pfizer-BioNTech against the coronavirus is about ten times higher, the number of cases of allergic reactions severe remains “excessively rare” and the population has everything interest in getting vaccinated, the risks of pandemic of Covid-19 being much taller, insisted Nancy Messonnier. ” We know how to treat anaphylactic shock and we have set up procedures at the vaccination sites To react when needed, she added.
No vaccine deaths
The 21 cases identified by the CDC involved people aged 27 to 60, with a median age of 40. All but two were treated with epinephrine, which is commonly used to treat allergies violent. Nineteen cases (90%) of allergic shocks involved women and symptoms occurred between 2 and 150 minutes after vaccine injection (median time 13 minutes). These symptoms included skin rashes, urticaria, a feeling of suffocation, swelling of the tongue, difficulty breathing, swollen lips, nausea and a persistent dry cough. Four patients (19%) were hospitalized, three of them in intensive care, and the other seventeen were treated in an emergency department.
No deaths were to be deplored. All but one were well at the time the study was written. Nancy Messonnier said investigations were underway to determine the cause of the allergic reactions. One of the hypotheses concerns the presence in the vaccine of a substance, the polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is used in many common products such as laxatives, shampoos or paste dentifrice, but has never been used in vaccines before.
Currently, US authorities have authorized two vaccines, one developed by Pfizer and another product by Moderna. Both use a new technology, calledMessenger RNA (mRNA), which had never been approved in a vaccine until now, and contain PEG. There is still insufficient data to determine the rate of anaphylactic shock after injection of Moderna vaccine.
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