She was taken to the emergency room when she reported shortness of breath. She also reportedly developed rashes on her face and torso.

A health worker with a white coat with Pfizer logo holding medical equipment Image for representation
news Friday, December 18, 2020 - 10:56

A healthcare worker in the US suffered an allergic reaction after receiving Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which has been authorised for emergency use in the country. The worker was among the healthcare workers being vaccinated at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau in the US state of Alaska on Tuesday.

According to a report in CNN on Wednesday, the healthcare worker who suffered the allergic reaction felt flushed within 10 minutes of receiving the vaccine. Other symptoms included shortness of breath and an elevated heart rate. She was taken to the emergency room when she reported shortness of breath. She also reportedly developed rashes on her face and torso.

Alaska's Chief Medical Officer Dr Anne Zink on Thursday said that the patient is doing well. "Thanks to the team and Bartlett who did a great job managing an adverse reaction to the Pfizer vaccine. While we think this is incredibly rare, and the CDC and FDA told us this is the only known case in the US to date, reporting problems is as important as reporting successes," she said in a tweet.

"But most importantly -- thank you to the patient, who is doing well, glad she got her first dose and disappointed it means she won't get her second. She encouraged us all to get ours."

As the vaccine is in limited supply at the moment, it is being given mainly to healthcare workers.

The UK's medical regulator last week advised that anyone who has a history of significant allergic reactions to medicines, food or vaccines should not receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine currently in use in the country.

The precautionary advice by the country's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) came a day after two National Health Service staff members experienced allergic reactions after being vaccinated, Xinhua news agency quoted a Sky News report as saying.

Earlier, another Alaskan worker had suffered an allergic reaction to the same vaccine, and two people in Britain also experienced allergic reactions. However,  according to British authorities, this sort of reaction to the vaccine is “very rare”, the New York Times reported.  

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