BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Division of Public Health (IDHW) has received reports of two health care workers experiencing severe allergic reactions after receiving the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. A news release says the reactions happened in north Idaho and in the Treasure Valley.
IDHW says an investigation on ongoing in both reactions, but one person has fully recovered and the other is hospitalized in stable condition but is expected to be discharged today. Both people had a known history of severe reactions after receiving injectable medication.
“The CDC considers a history of severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis to any vaccine or to any injectable therapy as a precaution, but not contraindication, to vaccination,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, medical director for the Division of Public Health. “In light of these events, we are concerned about the risk to people with such a history and recommend that anyone with a history of severe reaction or anaphylaxis to any vaccine or injectable therapy defer taking this vaccine until more is known.”
Federal, state and local public health agencies are monitoring reports of allergic reactions to the vaccine. The Department of Health and Welfare is reviewing data from the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System and state reporting systems. These systems are where providers who vaccinate and people who receive the vaccine can report any reaction they think is related.
“We will continue to update vaccine providers and the public as soon as we know more,” said Dr. Hahn. “In the meantime, people without a history of severe reaction or anaphylaxis to a vaccine or injectable therapy are still recommended and encouraged to get the vaccine when vaccine is made available to them.”
Data from clinical trials of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine show there is very little risk to the majority of people who receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the release. There are side effects to the vaccine because it stimulates the body's immune system. The release so far, those effects have included fever, fatigue, headache, chills and soreness at the injection site. They usually do not last longer than a day or two, according to IDHW.
5,665 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho. For more information on the vaccine in Idaho, click here.