Worries about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines are at a fever pitch. It’s important to remember that the risk of an adverse event—be it a blood clot or a severe allergic reaction—is as rare as being “struck by lightning,” according to experts. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective,” says the CDC. Not to mention: “People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.” That said, there is a small population that should not get vaccinated, says the CDC. Read on to see the exceptions—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss this urgent news: Here’s How You Can Catch COVID Even If You’re Vaccinated.
If you’re allergic to pollen, not to worry. But: “If you have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna). If you have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get the J&J/Janssen vaccine,” says the CDC. “If you aren’t able to get one type of COVID-19 vaccine because you are allergic to an ingredient in that vaccine, ask your doctor if you should get a different type of COVID-19 vaccine.”
“CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine in the United States out of an abundance of caution, effective Tuesday, April 13,” said the CDC this week. “People who have received the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine within the past three weeks who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should seek medical care right away.”
If you are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate, pay attention: “PEG and polysorbate are closely related to each other. PEG is an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines, and polysorbate is an ingredient in the J&J/Janssen vaccine. If you are allergic to PEG, you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Ask your doctor if you can get the J&J/Janssen vaccine.
If you are allergic to polysorbate, you should not get the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Ask your doctor if you can get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.”
“CDC recommends that people get vaccinated even if they have a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies,” says the agency. “People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated.”
Those 16 and under cannot get a vaccine at this time. “I don’t think we’re going to see it in the first half of this coming year,” Dr. Jose Romero, the chair of the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, said during an interview on MSNBC. “We need to see how the studies progress. We need to see that data in order to make sure that it is safe and effective in children.” So get vaccinated when it becomes available to you—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.