The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidelines on Saturday to address severe allergic reactions from the coronavirus vaccine.
The agency said it recently “learned of reports” of some people experiencing severe allergic reactions after getting vaccinated. The agency defined a “severe reaction” as one in which a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or requires hospitalization.
The CDC said people who have severe allergic reactions after the first dose should not receive the second.
Those who have had severe allergic reactions to the component of a COVID-19 vaccine should not receive that specific vaccine.
The agency also advises that those who have had serious allergic reactions to other vaccines or therapies consult their doctor before being vaccinated. However, people with a history of severe allergic reactions unrelated to vaccines or injectable medications they can still get vaccinated, the CDC said.
The new guidelines emerge after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it was investigating five serious reactions to the Pfizer vaccine reported this week. Two reactions were reported in Alaska and the others have been reported in other states.
Peter Marks, who heads the agency’s Center for Biological Research and Evaluation, told reporters that the agency was not sure what caused the reactionBut he said a chemical called polyethylene glycol, which is present in Pfizer and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, “could be the culprit.”
The agency said Friday that People with a history of severe allergic reactions to any component of the vaccine should avoid getting vaccinated.
The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency warned earlier this month that people with a “significant” history of allergic reactions should avoid receiving the Pfizer vaccine, after two people reported adverse reactions.