In NY, Out of More Than 30,000 Vaccinations, One Allergic Reaction

Mayor Bill de Blasio observes vaccinations for health-care workers at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, Queens, Dec. 16. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

A health-care worker had a serious adverse allergic reaction after receiving the coronavirus vaccine, New York City Health officials said.

Appearing during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press conference on Wednesday, New York City Health Commissioner David Chokshi said that the person had an allergic reaction and was quickly treated. He noted that of the tens of thousands of vaccines administered, this was the first one that triggered a health scare.

“We have administered over 30,000 COVID-19 vaccinations in New York City. In recent days we did receive a single report of a serious adverse event in a health-care worker. That was a significant allergic reaction that that person sustained. They were treated for it. They’re now in stable condition and recovering,” Chokshi told the press. “[Vaccines,] including the COVID-19 vaccine, are very safe in general. They do have side effects and occasionally those side effects include some uncommon allergic reactions.”

There have been reports of individuals with pre-existing allergies having adverse reactions to the Pfizer vaccine; those with allergies are advised to take the Moderna vaccine instead.

“For the vast, vast majority of people who have allergies, whether it’s a food allergy or a seasonal allergy, the COVID-19 vaccine will be safe and effective for you,” Chokshi said.  “If you have a history of an allergic reaction to a previous vaccine or to any medicine that you’ve taken by injection, then it’s important for you to have a conversation with your doctor before you get vaccinated.”

The city health department, in conjunction with the CDC, is tracking any reports of allergic reactions.


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