JAN 26, 2021 8:00 AM PST

COVID Vaccine Reactions: You're As Likely to Be Struck by Lightning

WRITTEN BY: Tara Fernandez

In a period of just over three weeks, over four million people received Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Out of all these people, only 10 developed a severe allergic reaction, says a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At 2.5 adverse events for every 1 million individuals vaccinated, this data points to the vaccine being safe for the general population. "Based on this early monitoring, anaphylaxis after receipt of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine appears to be a rare event," say authors of the CDC report.

For those that did develop adverse symptoms to the treatment, it appears that having allergies to other medications including penicillin may be a risk factor. One individual was known to be allergic to some foods and environmental factors but had no known drug sensitivities. Further investigations are underway to understand the mechanism behind the response to the vaccine.

The report states that all 10 patients received a range of treatments to alleviate the allergic symptoms, from epinephrine shots to emergency hospitalization, but all were reported to have recovered.

The main ingredient of the vaccine in mRNA encoding the viral spike protein. Once synthesized by cells, the body begins to make protective antibodies against the foreign protein, helping to shield against future infections should the individual come into contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Half a milliliter of the vaccine solution is injected into the arm and for best results, individuals need to get two doses, a month apart. Previous studies found the Moderna vaccine to be 94.1 percent effective in preventing COVID infections after both doses.

According to allergy expert at NYU Langone Health, Purvi Parikh, true allergic reactions to vaccines are exceedingly rare. "Statistically, you're more likely to be hit by lightning than have a true anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine," said Parikh.

As scientists continue to determine what ingredient in the vaccine is causing these rare anaphylactic events, their message to the community is not to get dissuaded from getting the vaccine.

 

 

Sources: LiveScience, Morbidity, and Mortality Weekly Report.

About the Author
  • Tara Fernandez has a PhD in Cell Biology and has spent over a decade uncovering the molecular basis of diseases ranging from skin cancer to obesity and diabetes. She currently works on developing and marketing disruptive new technologies in the biotechnology industry. Her areas of interest include innovation in molecular diagnostics, cell therapies, and immunology. She actively participates in various science communication and public engagement initiatives to promote STEM in the community.
You May Also Like
JUN 11, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Does Cannabis Interact with the COVID Vaccine?
JUN 11, 2021
Does Cannabis Interact with the COVID Vaccine?
As of June 10th 2021, 43% of people in the US aged 12 and over have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with 5 ...
JUL 13, 2021
Immunology
A Moment of COVID, A Lifetime of Immune Protection?
JUL 13, 2021
A Moment of COVID, A Lifetime of Immune Protection?
Does getting vaccinated, or having recovered from COVID, provide life-long protection against the coronavirus? Most like ...
JUL 18, 2021
Cancer
Light Alcohol Use Linked to Higher Cancer Risk
JUL 18, 2021
Light Alcohol Use Linked to Higher Cancer Risk
Moderate alcohol use is linked to a substantially higher risk of several forms of cancer, including breast, colon, and o ...
JUL 18, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
COVID-19 Antibiotic No More Effective than Placebo
JUL 18, 2021
COVID-19 Antibiotic No More Effective than Placebo
Azithromycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic commonly used to prevent symptoms of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients, do ...
AUG 03, 2021
Immunology
Some Neutralizing Antibodies Make COVID Worse
AUG 03, 2021
Some Neutralizing Antibodies Make COVID Worse
Antibodies are specialized proteins produced as part of the body's immune response. Neutralizing antibodies bind to ...
SEP 02, 2021
Immunology
Will an Extra COVID Vaccine Shot Benefit People With Autoimmune Conditions?
SEP 02, 2021
Will an Extra COVID Vaccine Shot Benefit People With Autoimmune Conditions?
The global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has helped save countless lives during the pandemic. Studies have shown that vac ...
Loading Comments...