CDC reports severe allergic reactions from COVID-19 vaccinations rare

CDC, HIV, Indiana
Getty Images

Of nearly 2 million people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 during a 10-day period in December, only 21 people experienced severe allergic reactions, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday. 

Most of those people had a history of allergies or allergic reactions, and for the 20 people the CDC followed up with, all had recovered and been sent home. 

Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, stressed allergic reactions are an “exceedingly rare” occurrence.

“Of course, we all would hope that any vaccine would have zero adverse events, but even at 11 cases per million doses administered, it’s a very safe vaccine,” she said. 

The risks of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 are much higher, Messonnier said, with more than 2,000 people dying per day.

“The risk from COVID and poor outcomes from COVID is still more than the risk of a severe outcome from the vaccine,” she said.

A report published Wednesday by the CDC found 21 allergic reactions among 1.9 million people who were vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine between Dec. 14 and 23.

An additional eight reports of severe allergic reactions were reported after that time period and weren’t included in the report. More reports will be released in the future.

The Pfizer vaccine was the only one being administered to the public during that time period, but because of its similarity to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends that patients with histories of immediate and severe allergic reactions to vaccines or anaphylaxis be monitored for 30 minutes after injections.

People with histories of allergic reactions to food, insect stings, vaccines or a history of anaphylaxis should consult with their doctors before being vaccinated, Messonnier said. 

Tags CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus COVID-19 Moderna Pfizer

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video