We tend to be dismissive of patients who express concern about the safety of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines—all of which have been shown to reduce transmission and severity of the virus, with low incidence of any side effects. While the motives of some of those individuals may be suspect, there are some who are genuinely fearful that their perceived consequences of getting the vaccine are more compelling than the proven benefit. Those who have a history of being highly allergic are a prime example. A new study just published in JAMA Network Open could put such fears to rest, however. Only 1.4% of 429 highly allergic patients who received a first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had even mild allergic reactions, while just 0.7% experienced anaphylaxis. Of the 218 highly allergic patients who got a second dose of that vaccine, 1.8% had a minor allergic reaction; none experienced anaphylaxis. It remains to be seen whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will revisit its recommendation that patients who have experienced a severe allergic to the first dose not receive the second dose.

Good News for Patients Who Are Sincerely Vaccine-Hesitant Because They’re ‘Highly Allergic’