The Idaho Division of Public Health has received reports of two healthcare workers experiencing severe allergic reactions, also referred to as serious adverse events, after they received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The events happened in northern Idaho and the Treasure Valley.
Investigation of both incidents is ongoing, but one person has recovered fully, and one is hospitalized in stable condition but expected to be discharged today.
Both people had a known history of severe reactions after receiving an 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.”
“We will continue to update vaccine providers and the public as soon as we know more,” she added. “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.”
Federal, state, and local public health agencies are continuously monitoring reports of adverse events related to the COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Health and Welfare is reviewing data from multiple systems, including the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System and state reporting systems, where providers who vaccinate and individuals who receive the vaccine can report any reaction they think is related to vaccination.
The data from clinical trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine indicate there is very little risk to a vast majority of people who will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, there are side effects to the vaccine because it stimulates the body’s immune system. So far, those side effects have included fever, fatigue, headache, chills, soreness at the injection site, among others. They usually don’t last longer than a day or two.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho, please visit: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/covid-19-vaccine/
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.
Public Information Manager