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Canada/Canadian-Media: Health Canada and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are closely monitoring for any adverse allergic reactions of COVID-19 vaccines after a health worker in Alaska (US), devoid of any history of allergies, had a severe anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine, and after Britain reported two similar cases last week, media reports said.
Image: Covid19 vaccination. Image credit: Unsplash
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised vaccine recipients to stay at the center of vaccination for 15-30 minutes, so they can be treated immediately if they have a reaction.
"Balancing any potential risks with the benefits the vaccine provides in the pandemic is an ongoing process," CDC's Dr. Jay Butler cautioned Wednesday, CBC News reported.
FDA's extensive study of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna vaccine did not uncover any major safety risks , said FDA and added no serious side effects were found in the tens of thousands enrolled in studies of the vaccine.
"Health Canada has reviewed the available evidence and has concluded that the current Product Monograph and available public health guidance are appropriate, and is not recommending any changes to the product's use at this time...If any new safety issues are confirmed, Health Canada will take appropriate action, which could include communicating any new risks to Canadians and health-care providers or changing the recommended use of the product," the department said in an advisory to the general public and health professionals.
The most common side effects reported are sore arm, a fever, some flu-like symptoms, fatigue, aches, chills, headache which last about a day, and more common after the second dose and in younger people, said the health authorities.
Earlier this week Health Canada had advised that people with allergies to any of the ingredients in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine should speak with their health professional about any serious allergies or other health conditions they may have before they receive this vaccine.
Canadians who experience a potential side effect following immunization are asked to report it to their health-care professional who can also help manage any side effects.
Health-care professionals are required by Health Canada to complete the Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) form, about the potential side effects experienced by those following immunization, appropriate for their province or territory and send it to their local health unit.
Health Canada participates with international regulators to share information about coronavirus vaccines as they are rolled out around the world.