Dr Fauci acknowledged that the problem can affect a lot of people.
“This is one of the reasons why it is important to cover the waterfront with different vaccination platforms,” he said, adding: “If in fact we find out that there is a problem constant of a certain subset of people like those with allergic reactions, you will always have other vaccine platforms that you can use and hopefully you won’t see that with those other platforms. “
Should people with allergies avoid the Pfizer vaccine?
Dr Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, said the initial and general recommendation in Britain of severe allergic reactions appeared to be an overreaction that could unnecessarily scare many people away from a vaccine. whose need is desperate amid a raging pandemic. .
Millions of people in the United States are allergic to foods like eggs or peanuts, as well as to drugs or bee stings, and have had reactions severe enough to cause doctors to advise them to wear injectors. epinephrine. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the vaccine is risky for them, he said. About five percent of children and four percent of adults in the United States have food allergies, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Less than one in a million other vaccine recipients per year in the United States has an anaphylactic reaction, said Dr Offit.
These reactions are treatable and much easier to control than a severe case of Covid-19, he said.
Many people who are allergic to food, bee stings, or drugs have received several vaccines without a problem.
As the coronavirus vaccine nears US clearance, here are some questions you may be wondering about:
- If I live in the United States, when can I get the vaccine? While the exact order of vaccines may vary by state, most will likely prioritize medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities. If you want to understand how this decision is made, this article will help you.
- When can I resume a normal life after being vaccinated? Life will only return to normal when society as a whole is sufficiently protected against the coronavirus. Once countries authorize a vaccine, they will only be able to immunize a few percent of their citizens in the first two months at most. The unvaccinated majority will always remain vulnerable to infection. A growing number of coronavirus vaccines show strong protection against the disease. But it is also possible for people to spread the virus without even knowing they are infected, as they have only mild symptoms, if any. Scientists do not yet know whether vaccines also block transmission of the coronavirus. So for now, even vaccinated people will have to wear masks, avoid crowds inside, etc. Once enough people are vaccinated, it will become very difficult for the coronavirus to find vulnerable people to infect. Depending on how quickly we, as a society, reach this goal, life may start to move closer to something normal by fall 2021.
- If I have been vaccinated, do I still have to wear a mask? Yes, but not forever. The two vaccines that will be potentially authorized this month clearly protect people against Covid-19. But the clinical trials that delivered these results were not designed to determine whether vaccinated people could still spread the coronavirus without developing symptoms. It remains a possibility. We know that people naturally infected with the coronavirus can spread it without feeling a cough or other symptoms. Researchers will study this question intensely as the vaccines are rolled out. In the meantime, even vaccinated people will have to consider themselves as possible spreaders.
- Will it hurt? What are the side effects? The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is given by injection into the arm, like other typical vaccines. The injection will be no different from any you received before. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines and none of them have reported serious health problems. But some of them experienced short-lived discomfort, including aches and pains and flu-like symptoms that usually last for a day. People may need to plan a day off or school after the second shot. While these experiences are not pleasant, they are a good sign: they are the result of your own immune system encountering the vaccine and building a powerful response that will provide long-lasting immunity.
- Will mRNA vaccines change my genes? No. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use a genetic molecule to stimulate the immune system. This molecule, known as mRNA, is ultimately destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that can fuse with a cell, allowing the molecule to slip inside. The cell uses mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus, which can stimulate the immune system. At any given time, each of our cells can contain hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules, which they produce to make their own proteins. Once these proteins are made, our cells then shred the mRNA with special enzymes. The mRNA molecules made by our cells can only survive for a few minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is designed to resist the enzymes in the cell for a bit longer, so that the cells can make additional viral proteins and elicit a stronger immune response. But mRNA can only last a few days at most before being destroyed.
As a member of the FDA advisory committee that met on Thursday, Dr Offit voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer vaccine. But during the panel’s discussion on allergic reactions, he said, “This problem will not die away until we have better data.”
He said research should be done to find out whether an ingredient in the vaccine can cause allergic reactions and whether people with other allergies might be particularly sensitive to it.