A Statement from Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center:
The board-certified allergy and immunology physicians at Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center are closely monitoring the evolving data regarding safety and efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines being distributed in our community. We are committed to doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and vaccination is a key part of that effort! Our physicians have already received their vaccines, and our team members are being immunized as they are eligible per state guidelines.
Is it Safe to get the Covid-19 Vaccine if I Have Allergies?
Important facts about COVID-19 Vaccines:
- Current data suggests that people with common allergies to pollen, medications, foods, inhalants, venom, and latex are no more likely than the general public to have allergic reactions to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
- mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not live vaccines and can usually be administered to immunocompromised patients. We recommend patients with immunodeficiency contact their physician to discuss any concerns or risks.
- Common side effects of COVID-19 vaccination include local pain or swelling at the injection site. Many patients also develop mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and/or headache. These side effects are due to the immune system’s normal response to the vaccine and should resolve in a few days.
- All COVID-19 vaccines should be administered in a health care setting with trained healthcare workers in which patients are monitored and anaphylaxis can be treated.
- All individuals who receive the COVID-19 vaccine should be observed for at least 15-30 minutes after injection to monitor for any adverse reaction. Most anaphylactic reactions have occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination.
- For the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, two shots are required for full protection.
- It takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity to COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine. It is important to continue all other measures to prevent infection before and after vaccination (wear a mask, maintain social distance, and wash hands frequently).
Important information on the risk of allergic reactions to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines:
Anyone receiving the COVID-19 vaccine may be asked the following screening questions:
- Have you ever had a serious reaction to a vaccine or immunization?
- Have you ever had a serious reaction to a medication that is injected (intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous)?
- Have you ever had a reaction to PEG (polyethylene glycol) or polysorbate? (PEG is often found in MiraLAX or medication given to prepare for a colonoscopy)
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, we can help to determine whether it is safe for you to receive the COVID vaccine. Please call us (704-372-7900) to schedule an in-office or virtual appointment with one of our Board-certified allergist/immunologists.
If you had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the second shot. If you experienced symptoms of an allergic reaction to the first dose or have questions related to your risk of an allergic reaction, we recommend consulting an allergist/immunologist who can provide more care or advice. Please contact our office for an appointment.
For information on receiving your COVID -19 vaccine in North Carolina, please refer to https://findmygroup.nc.gov/
For information on receiving your COVID -19 Vaccine in South Carolina, please refer to this link. https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine
*Continue to research daily where COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in your area so you can receive your appointment when it is your turn. (Please note, we are not administering any COVID-19 vaccinations at any of our clinics.)
This information and these recommendations are based on our best knowledge to date and is subject to change pending new information and further guidance from the FDA or CDC. For additional questions, please reach out to us at 704-372-7900. Thank you!
Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center