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Free Content Allergic reactions and adverse events associated with administration of mRNA-based vaccines. A health-care system experience


Adverse reactions, including anaphylaxis, to messenger RNA coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines rarely occur. Because of the need to administer a timely second dose in subjects who reported a reaction to their first dose, a panel of health-care professionals developed a safe triage of the employees and health care providers (EHCP) at a large health-care system to consider administration of future dosing.


There were 28,544 EHCPs who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines between December 15, 2020, and March 8, 2021. The EHCPs self-reported adverse reactions to a centralized COVID-19 command center (CCC). The CCC screened and collected information on the quality of reaction, symptoms, and timing of the onset of the reaction.


Of 1253 calls to the CCC, 113 were identified as requiring consideration by a panel of three (American Board of Allergy and Immunology) ABAI-certified allergists for future dosing or formal in-person assessment. Of the 113 EHCPs, 94 (83.2%) were recommended to get their second dose. Eighty of 94 received their second planned dose without a severe or immediate reaction. Of the 14 of 113 identified as needing further evaluation, 6 were evaluated by a physician and subsequently received their second dose without a serious adverse reaction. Eight of 14 did not receive their second dose. Only 5 of the 113 EHCPs reported reactions (4.4%) were recommended to not take the second dose: 3 (2.6%) because of symptoms consistent with anaphylaxis, and 2 because of neurologic complications (seizure, stroke).


The panel demonstrated that, by consideration of reaction history alone, the ECHPs could be appropriately triaged to receive scheduled second dosing of COVID-19 vaccines without delays for in-person evaluation and allergy testing.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2021

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

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