As we all are moving towards getting vaccinated from the deadly COVID-19 virus, one question that often arises in the minds of people is that can people with allergies take the Covaxin vaccine now?
This question arises from the fact that when Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin was allowed for restricted emergency use under the clinical trial mode in January, beneficiaries had to fill a form mentioning whether they had any kind of allergies.
The vaccine manufacturer had suggested that if anybody had some kind of allergy then the person should avoid taking the vaccine. As Bharat Biotech provided more data, its vaccine was removed from the ‘clinical trial’ mode.
In reply to the above question, Dr VK Paul of Niti Aayog said that if one has a severe allergy issue, then it’s better to consult a doctor before getting vaccinated. But if it is a common allergy issue of skin, then one can take the COVID-19 vaccine without any fear.
Dr VK Paul, however, did not specify the name of any particular vaccine and his remarks were related to the COVID-19 vaccines in general. AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria is of the opinion that if one is on allergy medication, then the medication should be continued after vaccination. If there is any allergic reaction post the vaccination the it should be reported to the doctors at the vaccination centre.
According to Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of the vaccine, individuals with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of allergic reactions, or who might have a mild allergy to vaccines (but no anaphylaxis) may still get vaccinated. But those who have known allergies to any component of Covaxin should not take the vaccine, the company said.
As far as Covishield is concerned, one should not take the vaccine if the first dose of it creates a severe allergic reaction, Serum Institute of India had disclosed it in its fact sheet.
CDC’s opinion on allergy and COVID-19 vaccine
If you had a severe allergic reaction also known as anaphylaxis after getting the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) US recommends that you should not get a second shot of that vaccine.
CDC has learned of reports that some people have experienced a red, itchy, swollen, or painful rash where they got the shot known as ‘COVID arm’. However, it is recommended that even then one should get the second shot at the recommended interval.
Components of Covaxin
6µg of whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 antigen (Strain: NIV-2020-770), Aluminium hydroxide gel 250 µg, TLR 7/8 agonist (imidazoquinolinone) 15 µg, 2-phenoxyethanol 2.5 mg, phosphate buffer saline up to 0.5 ml.
Components of Covishield
L-Histidine, L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate, Magnesium chloride hexahydrate, Polysorbate 80, Ethanol, Sucrose, Sodium chloride, Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA).