The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against coronavirus for adults over the age of 16 and the Moderna vaccine offers protection for adults over the age of 18 (studies on the effectiveness for children are in progress.) But there are a small group of people who should wait before getting the vaccine.
“The most common group who should wait are those with a history of a severe allergic reaction to ingredients in either of the vaccines,” explains Rochester Regional Health allergist Dr. Shahzad Mustafa. “People with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines can get vaccinated, but should check with their primary care provider first,”
Ingredients in the vaccines include:
According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 21 cases of anaphylaxis were reported after administrating 1.8 million first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (11.1 cases per million vaccine doses administered). Results from the Moderna vaccine were limited, with one case reported out of 224 thousand vaccinations administered.
Dr. Mustafa shares, “The instance of anaphylaxis is so rare that unless a person has a history of anaphylaxis from an ingredient found in the vaccines, most people don’t need to worry about an allergic reaction occurring. But if you do have a history of anaphylaxis from any of the ingredients, you shouldn’t get the vaccine yet.”
A person who is currently infected with COVID-19 should wait until they have received a negative test and their symptoms have subsided before getting vaccinated.
“The vaccine protects people from future infection and people who have had COVID-19 from reinfection, but the vaccine is not a cure for COVID-19,” said Dr. Nadia Kousar, Medical Director of Infectious Disease for the Eastern Region of Rochester Regional Health. “Those who are currently sick should stay isolated and follow guidance from their primary care provider.”
The CDC recommends that the decision to get vaccinated for people with suppressed immune systems should be left up to the individual.
“Vaccines can be administered to people with a weakened immune system who have no history of allergic reactions to vaccines or the ingredients found in the vaccines. However, they should understand that there are unknowns in terms of effectiveness as well as the potential for reduced immune responses,” explains Dr. Kousar.
Seniors over the age of 65 are among the first groups to receive the vaccine. Eligible Rochester Regional Health patients will be called by our central team to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination appointment at one of our indoor or drive-thru clinics.
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant or breastfeeding individuals who meet the criteria for vaccination.
*Please remember, if you have an underlying immune-compromising illness or if you are unsure about whether you should get the COVID-19 vaccine, discuss with your physician for individual recommendations.
Side effects from both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines can be expected and are common among most vaccinations. If you experience side effects after the first dose, you should still get the second dose unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you otherwise. Side effects are your body’s way of preparing your immune system, and they should go away after a few days.
If you experience pain or discomfort, ask your doctor about which safe over-the-counter medications you can take.
Get the latest on the COVID-19 vaccines, how the vaccines were created, who should get them, safety, side effects, and more.Read the Latest
This year's flu season is more unique that any year before because of COVID-19. Here are the 2020/21 flu season numbers and final flu season numbers for 2019/20.
Read the latest numbers on coronavirus cases in the Finger Lakes and Greater Rochester, as well as local regulations and travel restrictions news.
We launched a specialty center focused on treating a range of esophageal and upper gastrointestinal (GI) conditions, from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to esophageal cancer.