FDA is investigating 5 allergic reactions after Pfizer shot within the US

© Reuters. Covid-19 vaccines are given at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston

By Michael Erman

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating about five allergic reactions that have occurred after people have been given it Pfizer Inc (NYSE 🙂 and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ 🙂 vaccinated the COVID-19 vaccine in the US this week, a senior FDA official said late Friday.

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said at a news conference that allergic reactions have been reported in more than one state, including Alaska.

Marks also said that a chemical called polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a component of the Pfizer vaccine – as well as that Moderna (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc approved vaccine on Friday – "could be the culprit" causing the reactions.

Marks said that allergic reactions to PEG may be slightly more common than previously thought.

The Alaska cases were similar to two cases reported in the UK last week.

The UK regulator has stated that people with a history of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions to any drug or food should not receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated that most Americans with allergies should be safe to receive the vaccine. It was said only people who have previously had severe allergic reactions to any vaccine or any ingredient in that particular vaccine should avoid getting the shot.

On Friday, the FDA said the Moderna vaccine should not be given to anyone with a known history of severe allergic reactions to any ingredient in the shot.

Regulatory authorities also require that appropriate medical treatments for immediate allergic reactions be available when the shot is administered in the event of an anaphylactic reaction.

Pfizer could not be reached immediately for comment.

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