Allergy advice and the Covid-19 vaccine

If you have certain allergies you may be concerned about whether you should get the Covid vaccine. In most cases the vaccine is safe, even for people with a history of reactions to certain drugs and food. Here's the latest allergy information.
Covid vaccine

The number of true allergic reactions to vaccines is very low. In the whole of the UK, only 1 case of anaphylaxis per million vaccine doses was reported between 1997 and 2003. The ingredients for each vaccine are listed in the patient information sheet which you should be given to read prior to having your vaccination.

For all three vaccines, the advice is now that you should only not get the vaccine if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to one of the vaccine ingredients. Allergies to other things, e.g. food, should not mean you can't have the vaccine.

All approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.

You can have the vaccine if you are allergic to penicillin and if you have allergies to certain drugs the advice is to have the AstraZenica vaccine (not Pfizer/BioNTech). This is because some people with unexplained reactions to multiple drugs could have an undiagnosed polyethylene glycol (PEG) allergy.

Pfizer / BioNTech allergies advice:

“COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 should not be given:

if you are allergic to the active substance or any of the other ingredients of this medicine, listed in section 6. Signs of an allergic reaction may include itchy skin rash, shortness of breath and swelling of the face or tongue. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency department immediately if you have an allergic reaction. It can be life-threatening.”

Pfizer / BioNTech ingredients list

AstraZeneca allergies advice:

“Do not have the vaccine:

If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any of the active substances or any of the other ingredients listed in section 6. Signs of an allergic reaction may include itchy skin rash, shortness of breath and swelling of the face or tongue. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you have an allergic reaction. It can be life-threatening.

If you are not sure, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.”

AstraZeneca ingredients list

Moderna allergies advice:

“Do not have the vaccine if: you are allergic to the active substance or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine (listed in section 6)”

Moderna ingredients list.

Downloads

Covid Vaccine allergy advice

Covid Vaccine allergy advice Jan 2021

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