Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

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Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

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Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

In Ohio, about 60 percent of nursing home staff say they will not get a COVID-19 vaccine
In Los Angeles, between 20 and 40% of health care workers are refusing the shot
About half of health workers in Riverside County, California, are saying 'no'
Dr Fauci says a national vaccine mandate is unlikely, but that some institutions probably will choose to require vaccination [/b]

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/arti ... cines.html


Op-Ed: Don't Vaccinate Healthcare Workers First
— Our job is to save lives, so let's put those at highest risk for severe illness and death first


https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectious ... id19/90125

We are on the verge of a COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the current reality is that the on-hand supply will fall short. Healthcare workers have been put in the CDC's very first priority group, along with nursing home residents. I am puzzled by this. The question is, what is the expected result with this first wave of vaccinations?

From the public perspective, one can imagine the desired result would be to reduce morbidity and mortality as fast as possible. Currently in the U.S., COVID-19 kills about 90 people every hour. Each death represents the loss of a person.

When one considers the plan to start with vaccinating healthcare workers, the reality is the death rate will likely not slow in any appreciable way. This first wave of vaccinations is actually not configured to have a substantial impact on the current COVID-19 mortality rate. What is the argument to set aside the reduction of mortality as a goal?

The best way to reduce mortality is to staunch the flood of hospital admissions. If the hospital had fewer COVID admissions, this would accomplish two things. First, it would ease the burden on the healthcare workers. I speak from experience as an ICU doctor working this from the beginning. So much of what we do is COVID and we have had to expand services in a way that has stretched us very thin. We just want less of this. If we had less, we could manage much better. The patient is making us sick, not the other way around.

Second, if we target the high-risk group for serious COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, we will begin to also reduce morbidity and mortality overall. Every single death is the loss of an individual person. Every single death averted is a life saved.

The idea behind vaccinating healthcare workers is to avoid a crippling level of healthcare worker absenteeism. This sounds reasonable. In my experience, yes, healthcare workers have gotten sick with COVID-19, but on the whole, this group has actually done well in protecting itself and is not the population at the crest of the wave of mortality. Until we target the highest risk groups, we will continue to lose lives to COVID-19. Those of us in healthcare demand that this stops.

I am not trying to offer up healthcare workers as martyrs but nor am I demanding extraordinary protection for our volunteer workforce. Much press has focused on the sacrifice of healthcare workers. As a group, we are not however overrepresented in the mortality statistic. In my career, this is not my first pandemic or the first time a patient with an infection could kill me. It comes with the normal job.

That's why I respectfully disagree with the CDC that healthcare workers be among the first in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Recently in the U.K., the National Health Service reconsidered its original plan to vaccinate healthcare workers first, and instead will focus on nursing home residents and staff. It is true that healthcare workers have fallen sick and some have died, yet they make up a very small proportion of patients in ICUs and of deaths.

Vaccinating healthcare workers won't unclog the ICU and thus will not make healthcare workers' jobs any easier. Until COVID-19 is under control, families and friends will be banned from the building, reducing the quality of care we offer.

The advantage of targeting healthcare workers first is that as a community, they have been trained to roll up their sleeves. Some vaccine hesitancy will still occur, no doubt. As a group, they can be expected to advocate for the vaccine and prove to the public that it is safe. Vaccinating healthcare workers first actually would function as an unofficial safety trial to further make the case.

But what if we started with Medicare and Medicaid recipients, a group that covers the populations at highest risk: the elderly, the disabled and the poor? The vaccine program could be administered by family doctors who can reach out directly to their Medicare/Medicaid patients and ask them to come in to the office or the clinic. This personal connection likely will mute some of the skepticism of an untrusted and impersonal government program.

The family doctor can use the well-established, personal doctor-patient relationship to overcome fear and reluctance. The family doctor also can provide necessary support when patients experience inevitable side effects of vaccination.

Since supply will be short, one exclusion in this first round could be anyone who has had a documented case of COVID. These individuals seem to have immunity and one might expect that vaccinating someone with prior COVID might result in a more vigorous and unpleasant inflammatory response.

Much reassurance will be needed on an ongoing basis, but if done properly and compassionately, the public health benefits of the vaccine will begin to take hold.

The hospital is clogged with patients and empty of families. This combination is eroding the resolve of the healthcare worker. When the hospital begins to unclog as we target the real priority populations -- those at highest risk of otherwise becoming hospital patients -- the clog will give way and the families will return. When this happens, ICUs will return to something closer to normal for healthcare workers -- to the benefit of all.
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Re: Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

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Video: Nurse gets Bells Palsy from Covid vaccine

(once again , for informational purposes only)


https://www.citizenfreepress.com/column ... paralysis/

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Re: Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

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Is your covid vaccine venue prepared to handle rare, life-threatening reactions?

1/11/21

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... tions.aspx


As the rollout of covid-19 vaccines picks up across the U.S., moving from hospital distribution to pharmacies, pop-up sites and drive-thru clinics, health experts say it's vital that these expanded venues be prepared to handle rare but potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.

"You want to be able to treat anaphylaxis," said Dr. Mitchell Grayson, an allergist-immunologist with Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "I hope they're in a place where an ambulance can arrive within five to 10 minutes."

Of the more than 6 million people in the U.S. who have received shots of the two new covid vaccines, at least 29 have suffered anaphylaxis, a severe and dangerous reaction that can constrict airways and send the body into shock, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Such incidents have been rare — about 5.5 cases for every million doses of vaccine administered in the U.S. between mid-December and early January — and the patients recovered. For most people, the risk of getting the coronavirus is far higher than the risk of a vaccine reaction and is not a reason to avoid the shots, Grayson said.

Still, the rate of anaphylaxis so far is about five times higher for the covid vaccines than for flu shots, and some of those stricken had no history of allergic reactions. In this early phase of the vaccine rollout, all the patients were treated in hospitals and health centers that could offer immediate access to full-service emergency care.

As states look to scale up distribution, the shots will be administered by a varied assortment of professionals at venues including drugstores, dental offices and temporary sites attended by National Guard troops, among others. Health officials say every site involved in the wider community rollout must be able to recognize problems and have the training and equipment to respond swiftly if something goes wrong.

"We are really pushing to make sure that anybody administering vaccines needs not just to have the EpiPen available but, frankly, to know how to use it," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a call with reporters. She was referring to a common epinephrine injector that many people with severe allergies carry with them. Those health care workers must also know the warning signs of the need for advanced care, she added.

Anaphylaxis typically occurs within minutes and can cause hives, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or fainting, and life-threatening problems such as low blood pressure and constricted airways. Initial treatment is an injection of epinephrine, or adrenalin, to reduce the body's allergic response. However, severely affected patients can require intensive treatments including oxygen, IV antihistamines and steroids such as cortisone to save their lives. Community sites are unlikely to have these treatments on hand and would need quick access to emergency responders.

" Anybody administering vaccines needs not just to have the EpiPen available, but, frankly, to know how to use it."

- Dr. Nancy Messonnier, CDC

Scientists are still investigating what's triggering the severe reactions to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines. They suspect the culprit may be polyethylene glycol, or PEG, a component present in both vaccines that has been associated with allergic reactions.

Even as they call for education and support for providers, experts are urging the more than 50 million Americans with allergies — whether to foods, insect venom, medications or other vaccines — to be proactive about finding a venue that's properly prepared. Before scheduling a vaccine, contact the site and ask pointed questions about its emergency precautions, said Dr. Kimberly Blumenthal, quality and safety officer for allergy at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"Ask the question: Do they have an anaphylaxis kit? Can they take vital signs?" she said. People who routinely carry EpiPens should remember to bring them when they are vaccinated, she added.

A CDC website details a list of equipment and medications that sites should have on hand and urges that all patients be observed for 15 minutes after vaccination or 30 minutes if they're at higher risk for reactions. The list recommends — but does not require — that sites stock the more intensive treatments, such as IV fluids. People who experience severe reactions shouldn't get the recommended second dose of the vaccine, the agency said.

"Appropriate medical treatment for severe allergic reactions must be immediately available in the event that an acute anaphylactic reaction occurs following administration of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine," the site says.

Still, that's a tall order, given the scope of the vaccination effort. The federal government is sending vaccines to more than 40,000 pharmacy locations involving 19 chains, including CVS, Walgreens, Costco and Rite Aid. At the same time, dozens of pop-up inoculation sites are ramping up in New York City, and drive-thru clinics have been set up in Ohio, Florida and other states.

Drive-thru sites, in particular, worry allergists like Blumenthal, who said it's crucial to recognize symptoms of anaphylaxis quickly. "If you're in a car, are you going to have your windows open? Where are the medicines? Are you in a parking lot?" she said. "It just sounds logistically more challenging."

" Ask the question: Do they have an anaphylaxis kit? Can they take vital signs?"

- Dr. Kimberly Blumenthal, Massachusetts General Hospital

In Columbus, more than 2,400 people had been vaccinated by Jan. 6 at a drive-thru clinic set up at the Ohio Expo Center. No allergic reactions have been reported, according to Kelli Newman, a spokesperson for Columbus Public Health. But if they occur, she said, health officials are prepared.

"We have a partnership with our EMS and they are observing those being vaccinated for 15 minutes to make sure there are no adverse reactions," Newman said in an email. "They have two EMS trucks available with emergency equipment and epinephrine, if needed."

Similarly, representatives for CVS Health and Walgreens said they have the staff and supplies to handle "rare but severe" reactions.

"We have emergency management protocols in place that are required for all vaccine providers, which, following a clinical assessment, may include administering epinephrine, calling 911 and administering CPR, if needed," Rebekah Pajak, a spokesperson for Walgreens, said in an email.

If the vaccine sites have appropriately trained staffers, plus adequate supplies and equipment, the vast majority of people should opt for the shot, especially as the pandemic continues to surge, said Dr. David Lang, immediate past president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and chairman of the department of immunology at the Cleveland Clinic.

"The overwhelming likelihood is that you won't have anaphylaxis and the overwhelming benefit far exceeds the risk for harm," Lang said.
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Re: Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

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24 Dead and 137 Infected at NY Nursing Home After Experimental COVID Injections

1/11/21


http://tapnewswire.com/2021/01/24-dead- ... njections/


A Nursing Home had Zero Coronavirus Deaths. Then, It Vaccinates Residents for Coronavirus and the Deaths Begin.


Things seem to be working backwards at The Commons on St. Anthony nursing home in Auburn, New York. Vaccinating people is supposed to reduce or end coronavirus deaths. Right?

But, at The Commons, such deaths are reported to have occurred only after residents began receiving coronavirus vaccinations.

James T. Mulder wrote Saturday at syracuse.com that until December 29 there had been no coronavirus deaths at The Commons. December 29, when deaths of residents with coronavirus began occurring at The Commons, is also, Mulder’s article discloses, seven days days after the nursing home began giving coronavirus vaccinations to residents, with 80 percent of residents so far having been vaccinated.

Over a period of less than two weeks since December 29, Mulder relates that 24 coronavirus-infected residents at the 300-bed nursing home have died.

Is the timing just a strange coincidence?
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Re: Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

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“Very Healthy 56-Year-Old” Miami Obstetrician Dies after Being Injected with the Experimental Pfizer COVID Vaccine

1/6/21


https://healthimpactnews.com/2021/very- ... d-vaccine/


The experimental Pfizer COVID vaccine has claimed another life of a medical professional, and one can only wonder what the true casualty numbers are among medical professionals since the CDC stopped reporting on serious adverse reactions on December 22, 2020.

Gregory Michael MD, a “very healthy 56 year old” obstetrician that had his office in Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, has died after being injected with the Pfizer COVID experimental vaccine, according to a post by his wife on Facebook.

The love of my life, my husband Gregory Michael MD an Obstetrician that had his office in Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach Died the day before yesterday due to a strong reaction to the COVID vaccine.

He was a very healthy 56 year old, loved by everyone in the community delivered hundreds of healthy babies and worked tireless through the pandemic.

He was vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine at MSMC on December 18, 3 days later he saw a strong set of petechiae on his feet and hands which made him seek attention at the emergency room at MSMC. The CBC that was done at his arrival showed his platelet count to be 0 (A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.)

He was admitted in the ICU with a diagnosis of acute ITP caused by a reaction to the COVID vaccine. A team of expert doctors tried for 2 weeks to raise his platelet count to no avail. Experts from all over the country were involved in his care.

No matter what they did, the platelets count refused to go up. He was conscious and energetic through the whole process but 2 days before a last resort surgery, he got a hemorrhagic stroke caused by the lack of platelets that took his life in a matter of minutes.

He was a pro vaccine advocate that is why he got it himself.

I believe that people should be aware that side effects can happened, that it is not good for everyone and in this case destroyed a beautiful life, a perfect family, and has affected so many people in the community.
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Re: Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

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Death of pediatric assistant two days after receiving Covid vaccine puts Portuguese health authorities ‘on alert’

1/3/21


https://www.portugalresident.com/death- ... -on-alert/


Health authorities in Portugal today are described as “on the alert” following the so far unexplained death of a 41-year-old pediatric operational assistant two days after she received her first dose of the Covid vaccine.

The woman, so far unidentified beyond her age and professional situation (see update below), died in bed on New Year’s Day.

According to tabloid reports her body was discovered by her partner when he returned home from a trip to the shops.

The partner “called for help and a VMER (medical reanimation team) was dispatched. Efforts ensued to resuscitate the victim “without success”.

The woman was one of 538 health professionals at Porto’s IPO cancer hospital who received their first jabs of the BioNTech/ Pfizer vaccine last Wednesday.

In a statement to the press, the hospital has confirmed the woman “received the vaccine on December 30, no undesirable effect having been notified, neither at the moment of vaccination nor on the subsequent days. Clarification of cause of death will follow the habitual procedures for these circumstances”.

An autopsy is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Monday), at which point further information will be forthcoming.

Says Correio da Manhã tabloid, there is no indication that the woman had “any illness or health complication”.

Offering “heartfelt condolences” to the woman’s family and friends, the IPO statement said her loss to what it described as ‘sudden death’ “is equally felt at IPO Porto”.

UPDATE MONDAY MORNING

The woman has now been identified as mother-of-two Sónia Azevedo who had dined with her family the night of New Year’s Eve, and been in what appears to have been ‘perfect health’.

She left after the dinner to visit her boyfriend in Maia (where she was found dead in bed the next morning).

According to her grief-stricken and utterly bewildered father: “she never drank alcohol, didn’t eat anything special or out of the ordinary” and was a “well and happy” individual who had been so proud of having been among the first to be vaccinated, that she had actually shared a photograph of the fact over social media.

Sónia Azevedo’s daughter Vânia Figueiredo told Correio da Manhã: “We don’t know what happened. It all happened quickly and with no explanation. I didn’t notice anything different in my mother. She was fine. She just said that the area where she had been vaccinated hurt, but that’s normal…”

The dead woman’s father Abílio told the paper: “I want to know what caused my daughter’s death”.

This story was not discussed to any degree on last night’s television news. The result of the autopsy scheduled for today has not yet been publicised.
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Re: Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

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32-Year-Old Mexican Doctor Suffers Seizures and is Paralyzed After Receiving the Pfizer Experimental Vaccine

1/5/21


https://www.infobae.com/america/mexico/ ... -covid-19/


The Mexican Press is reporting that a 32-year-old female doctor in Coahuila has suffered seizures and become paralyzed after receiving the Pfizer experimental COVID mRNA vaccine on December 30, 2020.

Dr. Karla Cecilia Pérez Osorio reportedly was working as an internist at the General Hospital of Zone No. 7, in the municipality of Monclova. She was subsequently transferred to the High Specialty Medical Unit No. 25 of the IMSS, in Monterrey, Nuevo León.

She was reportedly evaluated by a neurologist and diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a known side effect of vaccines, and specifically of the COVID experimental mRNA vaccines as this injury was observed in some of the vaccine trials of the various COVID19 experimental trials being conducted around the world.

According to the Mayo Clinic, transverse myelitis:

“can cause pain, muscle weakness, paralysis, sensory problems, or bladder and bowel dysfunction… Other conditions, such as a stroke of the spinal cord, are often confused with transverse myelitis.”

Medical authorities in Mexico are downplaying the adverse reaction as “mild,” but relatives reported yesterday (January 4, 2021) that although she is conscious, she has difficulties speaking and moving her legs and arms.

Her husband, Ángel Palestino Gallardo, and her cousin, Carolina Rivas Gallardo, confirmed that she had tingling in her lips and extremities just after receiving the experimental vaccine, so they gave her medication and she returned to work. But 20 minutes later she experienced paralysis of her arms and legs and suffered several seizures until she was unconscious.
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Hamilton PSW says allergic reaction to COVID-19 vaccine led to fainting, seizures and CPR

12/30/20


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton ... -1.5856827


A personal support worker feels the health-care system "failed" her after someone overlooked her allergies, she says, and let her get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine triggered a severe reaction which she says caused her to faint, suffer multiple seizures, require CPR and still feel the effects almost a week later.

Deborah Tilli, 27, is one of the few people to have had a severe reaction to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. And while she doesn't want people to avoid the vaccine, Tilli says her case is a cautionary tale for those with allergies.

When she initially found out she was getting a vaccine, Tilli says, she was excited.

"I wasn't scared, I was excited. I was like, 'I'm going to be one of the first health-care workers in the city to get the vaccine,'" she said.

It came after nine gruelling months working during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping residents at Dundurn Place Care Centre who Tilli said "think their family doesn't love them anymore and they're not going to see their family again."

On Thursday at around 11:15 a.m., she was preparing to get vaccinated. She said she filled out consent forms and waited to be screened.

That's when Tilli noticed something was off. She said the nurse looking over her file lacked confidence about what they were doing.

"I do have a severe allergy to bumblebees, and the nurse went over that with me and even questioned me about it, but ... it seemed like she really didn't know what she was doing," Tilli said.

Tilli acknowledges she could have done more homework about the vaccination process ahead of time, and that this may well have been a simple mistake by someone who was also nervous to do the job.

But none of that changes what happened after she got vaccinated.

'What if I left my two girls without a mother?'

She expected to only wait around for 15 minutes before going home, she says. Instead, Tilli began to feel light-headed. Then, a scratch in her throat.

She dismissed it as nervousness, she says, but the symptoms didn't go away. Tilli says she approached a paramedic about what she was feeling.

Tilli says the paramedic checked her vitals and noticed her heart rate was high. She received a Benadryl shot and it seemed to work for a few minutes. But the symptoms returned and worsened, she says.

"The supervisor from the paramedics was there and he just said 'OK, let's give her the EpiPen,'" Tilli said.

"Within a minute, I just said, 'Something doesn't feel right in my body,' and I remember just passing out and leaning over to the right."

Dave Thompson, superintendent of the local paramedic service, confirmed to CBC News that Tilli was taken to hospital in stable condition.

Tilli says when she woke up, she was told she suffered seizures and needed CPR for a brief period. She doesn't remember much during the reaction, but says one moment sticks out — accepting the fact that she could die.

"There was a moment where, I don't want to say I gave up, but I was just like 'It is what it is.' ... [Days later] when I was in bed the other night, I was thinking, 'What if I left my two girls without a mother?'" Tilli said.

Hamilton Public Health Services declined a request for comment, but Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, says Tilli's experience with the vaccine doesn't mean it is unsafe.

"When you administer a vaccine to enough people, you're going to get adverse reactions ... there's really two safeguards there," Furness said.

"One is public communication that says if you have severe allergies, this is not the vaccine for you, not now, not yet. Wait for Moderna, perhaps. So everyone who has allergies should be awake and paying attention to that. Number two is people who are doing screening should also be right on top of that, so it looks like there was a double failure."

He notes the Phase 3 safety trials of the vaccine found no anaphylaxis, but estimates only a "small handful of people" have been impacted by allergies.

Furness also says those who use this story to sow doubt about vaccines needs to remember every medication has adverse reactions in some people.

'I don't know how long I'm going to feel this way'

Tilli says her mind is still in a fog and her ribs are sore, but she's better than she was on Thursday. That said, she's not sure when she'll be back to normal and worries about future seizures.

Tilli began to choke up thinking about how it could lead her to lose her driver's licence or even her job, which she says is her passion outside of parenting.

"I feel like I've been failed because I don't know how long I'm going to feel this way," she said.

"There's no one here to pay my bills. I'm a single mother of two children."

But despite all this, Tilli still hopes others will get vaccinated.

"If you're able to get the vaccine, get the vaccine. We need to put this to an end."
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Boston Doctor Reports Serious Allergic Reaction After Getting Moderna’s Covid Vaccine

The patient, who has a severe shellfish allergy, recovered quickly with treatment. Until now, reports of severe reactions had been linked to the Pfizer vaccine.

updated 12/31/20


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/25/heal ... rgies.html



A Boston physician said he developed a severe allergic reaction minutes after receiving Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, in the first week of the nationwide rollout for the company’s shots.

The case was the first of its kind reported to be linked to Moderna’s vaccine. Federal agencies are investigating at least six cases involving people who suffered anaphylaxis after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which contains similar ingredients, during the first few weeks of its distribution in the United States.

Officials with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had discussed the reactions involving some of the Pfizer cases, but have not determined whether an ingredient in the vaccine caused the allergic responses. A few health care workers in Britain had also experienced anaphylaxis after receiving the Pfizer vaccine earlier this month.

The incident on Thursday involved Dr. Hossein Sadrzadeh, a geriatric oncologist at Boston Medical Center, who has a severe shellfish allergy and had an appointment to get the Moderna shot in the afternoon. In an interview, Dr. Sadrzadeh said he experienced a severe reaction almost immediately after he was inoculated, feeling dizzy and with his heart racing.

In a statement, David Kibbe, a spokesman for Boston Medical Center, confirmed that Dr. Sadrzadeh had received Moderna’s vaccine on Thursday. The statement said that Dr. Sadrzadeh “felt he was developing an allergic reaction and was allowed to self-administer his personal EpiPen. He was taken to the Emergency Department, evaluated, treated, observed and discharged. He is doing well today.”


Ray Jordan, a spokesman for Moderna, said on Thursday evening that the company could not comment publicly on an individual case. On Friday, Mr. Jordan added that the company’s medical safety team would look into the matter, and he referred further questions to officials at Operation Warp Speed, the federal program overseeing vaccine distribution.

The F.D.A. would not comment on the new report on Friday.

Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the C.D.C., said that information on reactions to the new vaccines would be posted to the agency’s website starting next week. Belsie González, a spokeswoman for the C.D.C., referred further questions to local public health authorities.


With more than 1.1 million injections already delivered to arms across the country, severe allergic reactions remain a rarity, and should not prompt concern in most people, said Dr. Merin Kuruvilla, an allergist and immunologist at Emory University. “This should not deter people who are not obviously at increased risk,” she said.

After the initial cases accompanying the Pfizer shots, the C.D.C. issued advice that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines might not be appropriate for people with a history of anaphylaxis to ingredients in either injection. Anaphylaxis, which typically happens within minutes after exposure to a triggering substance, can impair breathing and cause precipitous drops in blood pressure, potentially becoming life-threatening.


The agency recommended that people with other allergies should still get their shots and wait the standard 15 minutes post-injection before leaving the vaccination site. Anyone who previously had an anaphylactic reaction to a substance, including another vaccine or injectable drug, should be monitored for an extra 15 minutes.


In the case on Thursday, Dr. Sadrzadeh said he brought his EpiPen to his vaccine appointment because of his serious allergies. He said that within minutes of the vaccine injection at 3:30 p.m., his heart rate had spiked to 150 beats per minute, about twice its normal cadence; his tongue prickled and went numb. Before long, he was drenched in a cold sweat and found himself feeling dizzy and faint. His blood pressure also plummeted, he said.

His immune system, he realized, was in revolt.

“It was the same anaphylactic reaction that I experience with shellfish,” Dr. Sadrzadeh said.

Dr. Sadrzadeh used his EpiPen and was taken on a stretcher to the emergency room, where he was given several medications, including steroids and Benadryl, to calm the immune reactions that had overtaken his body. A record of his visit stated that he had been “seen in the ER for shortness of breath, dizziness, palpitations and numbness after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.”

Four hours later, Dr. Sadrzadeh was released from care. As of Friday morning, he said he felt fully recovered. But the previous day’s events shook him. “I don’t want anybody to go through that,” he said.

Dr. Sadrzadeh reported his reaction to both Moderna and a national vaccine safety surveillance system run by the F.D.A. and the C.D.C.

The vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are the only ones that have been authorized for emergency use so far during the coronavirus pandemic, with mostly health care workers receiving top priority for immunization.

Moderna’s vaccine, like Pfizer’s, is designed around a molecule called messenger RNA, or mRNA, that’s injected into the upper arm. Once inside human cells, the mRNA instructs the manufacture of a protein called spike, which then teaches the immune system to recognize and thwart the coronavirus, should it ever invade the body. Each vaccine contains a handful of other ingredients that sheath the fragile mRNA in a protective greasy bubble and help keep the recipe stable in transit.

None of the ingredients in either vaccine have been identified as common allergens. But several experts have cautiously pointed to polyethylene glycol, or PEG, which appears in both recipes, albeit in slightly different formulations, as a possible culprit. PEG is found in a bevy of pharmaceutical products, including ultrasound gel, laxatives and injectable steroids, and allergies to it are extremely rare.

Dr. Kuruvilla said it remained possible that something else was responsible, and more investigation was needed to nail down the cause of this smattering of events.

Dr. Kimberly Blumenthal, an allergist and immunologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, noted that anaphylaxis can sometimes be difficult to confirm without blood work that hunts for an enzyme called tryptase, which is released during allergic reactions. It’s essential, she added, for there to be protocols in place so similar cases can be investigated further.

According to data filings from its late-stage clinical trials, Moderna did not report any links between its vaccine and anaphylaxis. But when products emerge from closely monitored studies into broad distribution, rare side effects can occur.

The recent allergic reactions linked to Pfizer’s very similar vaccine prompted heated discussions during advisory panel discussions held this month by the F.D.A. and the C.D.C., with experts noting that anaphylaxis seemed to be occurring at an unusual frequency so soon into distribution. (Under normal circumstances, allergic reactions to vaccines are thought to occur at a rate of about one in a million.)
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Re: Up to 60% of US health workers are refusing to get COVID-19 vaccines over fears of side effects

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Vaccination

Jan 13, 2021


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