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Two Idahoans experience allergic reaction to COVID-19 vaccine

Both patients have a history of experiencing severe allergic reactions from injectable medications, according to the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare.

BOISE, Idaho — Two Idaho healthcare workers experienced a severe allergic reaction after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, according to reports from the Idaho Division of Public Health. 

The two workers are located in northern Idaho and the Treasure Valley.

Both people have a history of developing severe allergic reactions from injectable medication. 

Investigations of the reactions are ongoing. One of the workers is fully recovered and the other is in stable condition and expected to be discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.

"The CDC considers a history of severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis to any vaccine or to any injectable therapy as a precaution, but not contraindication, to vaccination," said Dr. Christine Hahn, medical director for the Division of Public Health. "In light of these events, we are concerned about the risk to people with such a history and recommend that anyone with a history of severe reaction or anaphylaxis to any vaccine or injectable therapy defer taking this vaccine until more is known."

Public health agencies on the local, state and federal level continue to monitor reports of adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) is reviewing data from state reporting systems and the Federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System.

"We will continue to update vaccine providers and the public as soon as we know more," Hahn said. "In the meantime, people without a history of severe reaction or anaphylaxis to a vaccine or injectable therapy are still recommended and encouraged to get the vaccine when vaccine is made available to them."

Data from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine clinical trials show there is very little risk to the majority of those who will receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but there are side effects, including fever, fatigue, headache, chills, soreness at the spot of the injection and others. Typically, effects wear off after a day or two.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho, click here.

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