Important note: This article is intended for those who understand vaccines as critical to maintaining their health and that of their families. It is NOT intended for those who are anti-vaccine and as such is NOT intended to foster a discussion on the merits of vaccines in this forum. It is also NOT intended to foster a discussion of the lethality of COVID-19 or the need for civic action to limit the spread of the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a study yesterday of anaphylactic reactions that occurred during December 14-23, 2020 showing that such reactions are exceedingly rare.
The full CDC release can be found here; here are the highlights from the report:
- 1,893,360 initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine were administered during the period;
- 4,393 adverse reactions were reported. Of those, 21 were identified as anaphylactic reactions and 175 were identified for further review as possible allergic reactions.
- Of the 175 possible allergic reactions, 86 were deemed non-anaphylactic, 61 were considered non-allergic reactions and 7 are still under review;
- 17 of the 21 anaphylactic reactions were in people who had documented histories of allergies or allergic reactions;
- Follow-up information was available for 20 of the 21 people who suffered anaphylaxis. All of them had recovered/been released.
The 21 incidents of anaphylaxis translate to a rate of 11.1 anaphylactic reactions per 1 million doses.
The CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases indicates the rate of anaphylaxis for flu vaccine is approximately 1.3 anaphylactic reactions per 1 million doses.
Said Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases:
I guess you could mathematically say that’s 10 times the amount. But I think that misses the point because it’s still exceedingly rare. The risk from COVID and poor outcomes from COVID is still more than their risk of a severe outcome from the vaccine.
An excerpt from the study states:
Mortality from COVID-19 in populations at high risk is substantial (10), and treatment options are limited. Widespread vaccination against COVID-19 with highly effective vaccines represents an important tool in efforts to control the pandemic. CDC and FDA will continue to monitor for adverse events, including anaphylaxis, after receipt of COVID-19 vaccines and will regularly assess the benefits and risks of vaccination in the context of the evolving epidemiology of the pandemic.