NYC COVID-19 vaccine recipient has serious allergic reaction: officials

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NEW YORK CITY — A health care worker in New York City had a significant allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine, city health officials said Wednesday.

The case is the only allergic reaction reported to the Health Department out of more than 30,000 vaccinations that have been administered in the city, according to officials.

The health care worker was described as stable following treatment. The Health Department did not release specifics on when or where the vaccine was administered.

“Vaccines do have side effects and allergic reactions – while uncommon – are known to occur,” a spokesperson for the Health Department said in a statement Wednesday. “We also know that based on clinical trials and reports of adverse effects in other jurisdictions, reactions such as these are rare but have been reported with the Pfizer vaccine.”

The National Institutes of Health is planning to conduct a clinical study to determine why some people are having severe allergic reactions to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the Washington Post reported Monday.

U.S. health officials reported at least six cases of severe allergic reaction out of more than a quarter million shots given nationwide by Saturday. On Tuesday, the Idaho Division of Public Health reported two cases of severe allergic reaction to the Pfizer vaccine.

Many vaccines can cause temporary discomfort, such as a sore arm or certain flu-like symptoms. COVID-19 vaccines tend to cause more of those reactions than a flu shot, and some hospitals are staggering the times their employees get vaccinated to avoid staffing problems.

Less severe side effects have also been rare. Among the first 215,000 people to get vaccinated in the U.S., fewer than 1.5% of them had problems that left them unable to perform their normal activities or required medical care.

This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press, Scripps National and KIVI Staff.

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