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Can people with allergies still get a COVID-19 vaccine? Expert answers


A health expert on Tuesday addressed several myths and misconceptions, and also provided advice, on COVID-19 vaccinations.

In a forum organized by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) and Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Kathryn Uy Roa said that COVID-19 vaccines were not for everyone.

“This is a fact,” Roa added.

However, she emphasized that the only contraindications against the vaccines were allergic reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine and any of its components.

Patients who experienced an immediate allergic reaction, whether mild like rashes or severe like anaphylaxis, to a vaccine's first dose should not receive the second dose.

“Myth No. 2: ‘I have allergies to other vaccines and injectable medications, therefore I cannot get the vaccine.’ So this is false. You need further evaluation by an allergist,” said Roa.

Those who had an immediate allergic reaction to any other vaccine or injected therapy should be evaluated by an allergist to assess possible allergic reactions to some components of COVID-19 vaccines.

For people with allergies to food and medication, Roa said that they can receive COVID-19 vaccines.

“’I have allergies to food and or medication, therefore I cannot get the COVID-19 vaccines.’ So this is false. These are the special groups who can receive the COVID-19 vaccines.”

Roa added that patients suffering from immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases as well as well-controlled asthma may also get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pregnant

“’I'm pregnant, therefore I cannot get the COVID-19 vaccines.’ This issue needs to be discussed with a doctor. There's very limited data on the effect of vaccines on pregnant women and their babies,” she said.

Roa noted that no safety concerns were flagged in the small group of women included in the vaccine trials as well as in animal studies.

She advised pregnant women to consider the following in deciding whether or not to get vaccinated against COVID-19:

  • level of COVID-19 community transmission
  • patient’s personal risk of contracting COVID-19
  • risk of COVID-19 to the parent and potential risks to the fetus
  • efficacy of the vaccine
  • side effects of the vaccines
  • lack of data about the vaccine during pregnancy.

For lactating mothers, Roa said that there was limited data on the matter but the vaccine without a live virus was unlikely to pose a risk to a breastfeeding child.

The World Health Organization did not recommend discontinuing breastfeeding among mothers who received a vaccine. — DVM, GMA News

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