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Report: CDC says allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccine are rare, but 10 times more likely than reactions to the flu shot

Meaning approximately 11 out of every million vaccinated people would experience an allergic reaction.

ATLANTA, Georgia — *Editor's Note: The video in the player above originally aired on November 11, 2020.

As the United States continues its ongoing fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, health officials are working to slow the spread of the disease through guidance and vaccine distribution. 

However, a new study released by the CDC shows that people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine are ten times more likely to experience anaphylaxis, or a severe allergic reaction, compared to the flu shot.

Of the 1.9 million people to receive the vaccine in the first wave of distribution, the CDC reports 21 cases of anaphylaxis. These patients received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in mid-to late December, according to the study. 

During a conference call with reporters, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases explained the high anaphylaxis rate. 

“The anaphylaxis rate for Covid-19 vaccines may seem high compared to flu vaccines, but I want to reassure you that this is still a rare outcome,” CNBC reports. 

Of the 21 people that experienced a reaction, 17 of them had a history of allergies or allergic reactions. Additionally, most people experienced symptoms within 15 minutes. 

According to Messonnier, the vaccine is safe for people to use and that the allergic reactions are rare among COVID-19 vaccine recipients. 

“Of course, we all would hope that any vaccine would have zero adverse events, but even at 11 cases per million doses administered, it’s a very safe vaccine,” Messonnier said.

To read the complete CDC study, click here

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