A doctor in Boston with a shellfish allergy developed a severe allergic reaction after receiving Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing the doctor.
Dr Hossein Sadrzadeh, a geriatric oncology fellow at Boston Medical Center, said he had a severe reaction almost immediately after being vaccinated, feeling dizzy and with a racing heart, the NYT reported.
It is the first severe reaction publicly linked to Moderna’s vaccine, which is in its first week of a nationwide rollout.
David Kibbe, a spokesman at the Boston Medical Center, said in a statement on Friday that Dr Sadrzadeh “felt he was developing an allergic reaction and was allowed to self-administer his personal epi-pen. He was taken to the Emergency Department, evaluated, treated, observed and discharged. He is doing well today.”
A US Food and Drug Administration official said last week that the FDA is investigating around five allergic reactions that occurred after people were administered Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.
Dr Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said that the allergic reactions had been reported in more than one state, including in Alaska.
Marks also said that a chemical called polyethylene glycol (PEG) that is an ingredient in the Pfizer vaccine – as well as the Moderna Inc vaccine – “could be the culprit” causing the reactions.
Marks said that allergic reactions to PEG could be somewhat more common than previously understood.
The cases in Alaska were similar to two cases reported last week in Britain.
Britain’s medical regulator has said that anyone with a history of anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reactions to medicine or food, should not be given the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
But the US Food and Drug Administration has said that most Americans with allergies should be safe to receive the vaccine. It said only people who have previously had severe allergic reactions to vaccines or ingredients in this particular vaccine should avoid getting the shot.
On Friday, the FDA said the Moderna vaccine should not be given to individuals with a known history of severe allergic reactions to any components of the shot.
The regulator is also requiring that appropriate medical treatments for immediate allergic reactions must be available when the shot is administered in case of an anaphylactic reaction.