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What possible adverse reactions to Pfizer vaccine could mean for Americans

HOUSTON – Two people who experienced possible allergic reactions after receiving the Pfizer vaccine in the UK are recovering well, according to UK regulators.

However, now there’s a warning for those who have a history of severe allergic reactions, such as those to food, medicine, vaccines or need to carry an epi-pen.

The news comes as the vaccine is one step closer to approval in the US. The FDA is scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine.

Dr. James McDeavitt with Baylor College of Medicine said most Americans shouldn’t be concerned.

“There are people who have had true allergic reactions to vaccines in the past. Those are extraordinarily rare so if there are medical contributing factors with the vaccine obviously you shouldn’t get it but they are relatively rare,” McDeavitt said.

Plus, it has not yet been determined if these two reactions were linked to the vaccine but since people with severe allergies were excluded from clinical trials.

Dr. James McCarthy with Memorial Hermann said it’s worth talking to your doctor about.

“Work out a strategy about when and how they can safely receive the vaccine,” McCarthy said. “It may mean they need to receive it in a more monitored environment.”

Locally, researchers said they’ve witnessed zero allergic reactions to the vaccines in clinical trials.

“The protocol we followed was not to enroll anyone with a serious allergic history and therefore we had no severe allergy cases at our sites,” according to the #HoustonFightsCOVID campaign with Texas Center for Drug Development.

Doctors still agree the vaccine is safe.

“We think that the data that that was reviewed by the National Health Service in the UK and the data reviewed by the FDA overwhelmingly say this is a very safe and effective vaccine and I don’t anticipate it will alter [The FDA Approval] or delay their guidance at all,” McCarthy said.

“This is looking like a real triumph, and we should all pause and celebrate. I think it is, it is just cause for celebration,” McDeavitt said.