A healthcare professional in New York City suffered what officials call a “serious adverse event” after receiving Pfizer’s vaccine COVID-19. The worker, who was not identified, is stable after being treated for a significant allergic reaction.
“With more than 30,000 COVID-19 vaccinations administered in New York City, we have received a single report of a serious adverse event in a healthcare professional,” the New York City Health Department said in a statement on Wednesday.
It was not clear when or where the healthcare staff received the vaccine or how soon after the reaction.
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“The City Health Department is closely monitoring reports of serious adverse reactions in collaboration with the CDC, and this is the first serious adverse event we have encountered in New York City,” the department said in a statement. “We will continue to advance the distribution of coronavirus vaccines to ensure that healthcare professionals and healthcare professionals and residents are protected against COVID-19.”
Although the occurrence is the first to be reported in New York, there have been several other reports of side effects throughout the United States. A health care professional in Alaska who had an allergic reaction within ten minutes of receiving the first dose of the vaccine last week is believed to have been the first to be reported in the United States.
Since then, at least five further reactions have occurred, prompting the CDC to issue new guidance.
“If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that you do not receive the specific vaccine,” says the National Board of Health. “If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, you should ask your doctor if you should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you determine if it is safe for you to be vaccinated.”
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However, the above guidance only applies to those who have had severe reactions to vaccines, and not to others who may experience severe reactions to other substances such as food.
“The CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable drugs – such as allergies to food, pets, poison, environment or latex – still be vaccinated,” the CDC said.
“People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions, or who may have had a milder [sic] allergy to vaccines (no anaphylaxis) – can also still be vaccinated. “