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health
Thursday Jan 07 2021
By
Web Desk

Only 1 in 100,000 had severe reactions to Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine: US health officials

By
Web Desk
Healthcare workers take part in a  rehearsal for the administration of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. December 11, 2020. REUTERS
  • About 21 cases of anaphylaxis documented after administration of a reported 1,893,360 shots from December 14 to December 23
  • The symptoms of anaphylaxis include rash, a sensation of throat closure, swollen tongue, hives, difficulty breathing among others
  • 19 of the cases which make up about 90%, occurred in females


US health officials on Thursday underscored that the benefits of immunisation greatly outweigh the known risks of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, revealing that roughly one in a hundred thousand people who received the coronavirus vaccine had severe allergic reactions.

According to the data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, about 21 cases of anaphylaxis documented after administration of a reported 1,893,360 shots from December 14 to December 23.

Read more: Pfizer, US strike 100 million COVID-19 vaccine deal with 70 million due by June

The symptoms of anaphylaxis included rash, a sensation of throat closure, swollen tongue, hives, difficulty breathing, hoarseness, swollen lips, nausea, and persistent dry cough.

In this regard, senior CDC official Nancy Messonnier shared that this averages out to a rate of 11.1 anaphylaxis cases per one million doses administered.

Keeping in mind that coronavirus poses far more dangers to health, she went on to add that anaphylaxis cases were still "exceedingly rare" and it remains in people's best interest to take.

"A good value proposition for someone to get vaccinated is their risk from COVID and poor outcomes from COVID is still more than the risk of a severe outcome from the vaccine," Messonnier said.

"Fortunately, we know how to treat anaphylaxis, and we've put provisions in place to ensure that at immunisation sites, the folks administering the vaccine are ready to treat anaphylaxis."

The 21 cases of anaphylaxis ranged in age from 27 to 60 years old, with a median age of 40, and all but two were treated with epinephrine whereas 19 of the cases, which constitute about 90%, occurred in females, read the report by Medical Xpress.com.

Moreover, four (19%) of patients were hospitalised, including three in intensive care, and 17 (81%) were treated in an emergency department. 

Read more: Big development: US approves use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine

All but one was known to have been discharged or recovered at the time of the study, and there were no deaths, read the report.

In a major development, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised the emergency use of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech's novel coronavirus vaccine last month.

The vaccine, developed by a Turkish couple, has shown to be 95% effective in preventing the disease in a late-stage trial. Pfizer has said it would start shipping immediately and state public health systems have been planning to begin shots soon.