Allergic reactions and recalls news


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Hello, dear readers, and welcome to our ongoing discussion on the COVID-19 vaccine. We continue to hear from a number of readers who are interested in receiving the vaccine but are concerned about an allergic reaction.

“The advice always says not to get the vaccine if you are allergic to any of the ingredients,” one reader said. “How do you know? I eventually found out that Pfizer and Moderna were using polyethylene glycol or polypropylene glycol, but it turns out that there are no tests to find out if you are allergic to it.”

The reader is right that it is difficult to tell if you are allergic to the so-called “filler” ingredients of a vaccine. These are the non-medicinal parts of the vaccine in which the active ingredients are suspended. However, polyethylene glycol and polypropylene glycol are common fillers that are used in many drugs, as well as in many vaccines. Anyone who has tolerated other vaccines in the past faces only minimal risk with COVID vaccines.

To allay your fears, you can organize your vaccination in a hospital setting. However, even regular immunization clinics are equipped with emergency supplies and equipment to immediately treat an adverse reaction. In our opinion, the minimal risk associated with the vaccine is more than outweighed by the enormous benefit for the individual and for those around him to receive the inoculation.

• As soon as vaccines became available, the issue of boosters arose. This is especially important for people like this reader, who live with a weak immune system.

“I understand that, since I am a transplant patient, the vaccine does not provide enough antibodies to protect me against COVID-19,” she wrote. “How do I go about getting a third shot?” “

As of August 12, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of a COVID-19 vaccine booster for certain immunocompromised people who are at increased risk of developing serious illness. This includes organ transplant recipients and others whose immune systems are also compromised. The pool of people eligible for a booster shot is expected to start growing as early as this fall. This will likely apply to healthcare workers, nursing home residents, and those who were the first to receive the vaccines.

As a reminder, the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for emergency use in people 12 years of age and over. Moderna vaccine is approved for emergency use in people 18 years of age and older. Vaccines are also now recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. A review of data collected from 2,500 pregnant women who received a COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks gestation found it to be safe, with no increased rates of miscarriages. However, COVID-19 poses a real risk.

This pandemic is dynamic and constantly evolving. As new information is released, new questions arise. Do not hesitate to write to us. We will do our best to answer your questions and support you during these difficult times.

• Dr. Eve Glazier is an internist and associate professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Dr Elizabeth Ko is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Send your questions to [email protected]

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