Aafa: What Do We Know About The Clinical Trials For The Covid
Dr. David Stukus: We dont know specifically how many people had asthma or food allergies or allergic rhinitis. They didnt break it down by that when they reported this. There are other categories that are more important in the grand scheme of things to try to figure out whether the vaccine is safe and effective. But they werent excluded. The only potential allergy that was excluded specifically were those participants who may have had a severe allergic reaction to prior vaccines or any of the specific ingredients contained in this Pfizer vaccine.
Of note, the Pfizer vaccine does not contain any food proteins, food allergens, or food derivatives. It wasnt grown in embryos, so theres no egg or anything like that. We have to assume there were people with some of the more common chronic conditions, especially asthma. We have to assume there were people with asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and food allergies enrolled in these trials. Were not seeing any big scary signals from any group, let alone those.
Note: This is just an excerpt from the video. Watch the full video clip for the entire answer.
Why Should We Be Cautious About Medication
Whats going on is that we want a robust immune response from the COVID-19 vaccine. So anything that would interfere with it should be avoided, says Dr. Vyas.
The effectiveness of the vaccine all comes down to how well your immune system responds to it. Dr. Vyas adds that if your body is focused on doing something else, its not going to spend the time necessary to build up that robust response to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr Fauci Says You Can Take A Painkiller After The Vaccine
Dr. Fauci says if you have pain in your arm after the shot, you can pop a few Tylenol or Advil safely. Just don’t take anything, he says, that “suppresses an immunological response.” So get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Eat This, Not That!
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To Help With Side Effects Can I Take Acetaminophen Ibuprofen Or Antihistamines Either Before Or After Receiving Vaccine
Analgesics and antipyretics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are effective in managing post-vaccine side effects including injection-site pain, myalgias, and fever. However, the CDC does not recommend taking these medications pre-vaccine administration, because of possibility that they could blunt vaccine-induced antibody responses.
Administration of antihistamines to COVID-19 vaccine recipients prior to vaccination to prevent allergic reactions is not recommended. Antihistamines do not prevent anaphylaxis, and their use might mask cutaneous symptoms, which could lead to a delay in the diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis.
Can You Take Otc Allergy Medications Before Or After The Vaccine
In short, yes. Over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays will not affect vaccine efficacy, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist with the Allergy & Asthma Network who specializes in infectious disease. So if you regularly rely on meds like Claritin, Flonase, or Zyrtec, you can keep taking themeven on the day of your appointment.
These medications help block your bodys reaction to allergens like pollen and dust, keeping swelling, itching, and congestion to a minimum they dont interfere with the production of antibodies spurred by the COVID-19 vaccines.
However, if you dont take allergy medications daily, the CDC advises against taking them to try to mitigate potential side effects before your shot .
You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally, the CDC explains.
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Dr Fauci Says Some Tylenol After The Vaccine Should Be Ok
Aches and pains are a common side effect of the COVID vaccine. “If someone gets achy or gets a headache and it’s really bothering you, I mean, I would believe as a physician that I would have no trouble taking a couple of Tylenol for that,” he said. “So again, people are going to come back and forth and say, well, it could mute or dampen the immunological response to the vaccine itself. I don’t see any biological mechanisms why something like Tylenol would not do that.”
Can I Take Painkillers Before Or After A Covid
Health experts advise against taking painkillers before getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but say they’re OK to use afterward if symptom relief is needed and your doctor agrees
Can I take painkillers before or after a COVID-19 vaccine?
Dont take them before a shot to try to prevent symptoms, but if your doctor agrees, its OK to use them afterward if needed.
The concern about painkillers is that they might curb the very immune system response that a vaccine aims to spur. Vaccines work by tricking the body into thinking it has a virus and mounting a defense against it. That may cause temporary arm soreness, fever, muscle aches or other symptoms of inflammation signs the vaccine is doing its job.
Some research suggests that certain painkillers including ibuprofen might diminish the immune system’s response. A study on mice suggests these drugs might lower production of antibodies, which block the virus from infecting cells.
Other research has found that painkillers might dampen the response to some childhood vaccines, so many pediatricians recommend that parents avoid giving children the medicines before a shot and only if needed afterward, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University.
If youre already taking one of those medications for a health condition, you should not stop before you get the vaccine at least not without asking your doctor, said Jonathan Watanabe, a pharmacist at the University of California, Irvine.
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Other Types Of Medications
Many individuals have reached out to the Vaccine Education Center about other medications. Generally, we recommend that they speak with their own healthcare providers, who know why they are taking the medications, what the dose is, and any other details about their medical history that may be relevant. However, we will address a few additional types of medications here:
In sum, many people take medications and some of these might affect the individuals immune responses not just to vaccines, but to potential infections or other medications. Therefore, it is important to learn more about the potential effects of any medications you take, refrain from using unnecessary medications, and check with your doctor about medication changes or with other questions.
Information From The Cdc On The Covid
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines for the current COVID-19 vaccines. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were the first to be authorized by the FDA. The Pfizer-BioNTech is the first to be approved. They are mRNA-type vaccines. The mRNA vaccines teach your immune system to make a protein that starts an immune process. Your body then produces antibodies that can protect you from COVID-19.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is a shot given in two doses three weeks apart. The Moderna vaccine is also given in two doses about four weeks apart. Based on the clinical trials, you need both doses of these to be fully protected from COVID-19. If you are immunocompromised, it is recommended you get a third dose at least 28 days after your second shot.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only given in one shot. There is no recommendation for an additional or booster dose for the J& J COVID-19 vaccine at this time. It is a viral vector vaccine. It is different than mRNA vaccines. A viral vector vaccine uses a modified version of a different virus to deliver instructions to cells in your body. This triggers your body to create antibodies to SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. You cannot get COVID-19 from this vaccine since it is a modified virus.
None of the vaccines will affect your DNA. These vaccines reduce the chance of getting COVID-19. They can also reduce the severity of your symptoms if you get the disease.
Should You Stop Taking Routine Medications Before Your Vaccination
According to Dr. Vyas, medications for blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and other common health conditions arent things to be concerned about.
The studies for the vaccines were done with a number of people who had many of these common conditions. If you have hypertension or another common medical condition, you can have a little more peace of mind knowing that they did studies and trials on the COVID-19 vaccines which included people with the same conditions. The good news is that they responded well to the vaccines. So, dont change any of your regular medications, she says.
Is The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine A Safe Alternative
The authors of the study say that it has been suggested that the polyethylene glycol used to construct the nanoparticle-encapsulated lipid of this vaccine is a possible candidate.”
Agmon-Levin says that people who are allergic to GoLYTELYa common laxative used prior to colonoscopiesmight be more predisposed to PEG allergies.
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If I Dont Usually Take Allergy Medicine Should I Take It To Prevent An Allergic Reaction To The Vaccine
No. Theres no need to suddenly start taking allergy medicines if youve never taken them before. Using antihistamines to prevent an allergic reaction to the vaccine is not recommended.
Likewise, the CDC doesnt recommend taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen, before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent vaccine-related side effects.
If youre worried, your best strategy is not premedication, but to talk to your doctor so that you can try to alleviate some of that anxiety, says Feldman. In general, these vaccines have been very safe andweve seen very few true allergic reactions.
What Guidelines Should Be Followed After You Receive The Covid
First off, if youre getting the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, it is important that you get both doses of these vaccines. You are not fully protected until about two weeks after your second shot.
When you are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, its important to continue to practice infection prevention measures. This is partly because the vaccines are not 100% effective. Also, it is unknown if people who are vaccinated can still carry and transmit the virus.
So, until enough people are immune it is important that everyone follow guidelines including:
- Social distancing 6 feet separation from others
- Frequent handwashing
- Wear a mask
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Dr Fauci Says Do Not Take A Drug That Supresses An Immunological Response
As for taking medicines after the vaccine, Fauci says “the mixed advice is based on the fact that there’s very little data on that. I mean, if you’re going to take something that suppresses an immunological response, then obviously you don’t want to take something like that, except if you’re taking it for an underlying disease.” Immunosuppressants are “medications that suppress the body’s immune system,” according to Johns Hopkins. “These are usually taken after an organ transplant to prevent the body from ‘rejecting’ the transplanted organ.” Keep reading to see what he thinks you can take.
Dr Fauci Said Do Expect Some Side Effects Especially After The Second Dose
“If you are really having discomfort that usually would occur rarely after the first dose, you likely would get a pain in the arm and maybe a little bit of an ache, not very much of an issue there. That’s what I went through personally, when I got it,” he said. “But the second dose of either the Madonna or the Pfizer in some people do get about a 24 hours worth of achiness, maybe some chills, occasionally a fever, a headache. You feel under the weather, as it were taking something appealed to youlike two Tylenol, every six or eight hours or soI can see is going to have a major difference that might make you feel much better.”
/13cancer Care And Immunotherapy Medications
Cancer is an immunosuppressing condition. People suffering from cancer are often put on heavy doses of immunosuppressants, which can cause the body to have an ‘incomplete’ immuno response, or have very poor tolerance after the vaccine is injected into the body. The response may be severely compromised for those who have non-functioning or bad immunity.
According to IMA guidelines, those with active cancers, but yet to start treatment can safely take the vaccine, much like cancer survivors. The ones on chemotherapy should consider medical advice prior to the vaccination.
Dr Bharat Agarwal, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai suggests that chemo patients to schedule doses as per their cycles.
“Immunosuppressants are drugs that lower the body’s ability to reject or have an incomplete immune response. Those undergoing Chemotherapy should seek an appropriate window for vaccination between the Chemotherapy cycles. Ideally, we suggest a patient wait for 4 weeks post-chemotherapy for the jab.”
Similarly, people who have had surgery need not take the vaccine immediately. They should consider waiting for two weeks atleast.
Early Recognition Of Anaphylaxis
Because anaphylaxis requires immediate treatment, diagnosis is primarily made based on recognition of clinical signs and symptoms, including:
- Respiratory: sensation of throat closing or tightness, stridor , hoarseness, respiratory distress , coughing, trouble swallowing/drooling, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing
- Gastrointestinal: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or cramps
- Cardiovascular: dizziness fainting tachycardia hypotension pulse difficult to find or weak cyanosis pallor flushing
- Skin/mucosal: generalized hives widespread redness itching conjunctivitis or swelling of eyes, lips, tongue, mouth, face, or extremities
- Neurologic: agitation convulsions acute change in mental status sense of impending doom
- Other: sudden increase in secretions urinary incontinence
Anaphylaxis should be considered when signs or symptoms are generalized or are serious or life-threatening in nature, even if they involve a single body system .
If anaphylaxis is suspected, administer epinephrine as soon as possible, contact emergency medical services, and transfer patients to a higher level of medical care. In addition, instruct patients to seek immediate medical care if they develop signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction after their observation period ends and they have left the vaccination location.
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Should I Worry About A Severe Allergic Reaction To The Vaccine
An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or an EpiPen or if the person must go to the hospital, says the CDC. This includes anaphylaxis, a reaction that includes symptoms such as wheezing, nausea, vomiting, hives, dizziness, and/or fainting.
Your chances of a severe reaction arent zero, but its a very small chance, and people have to understand that allergic reactions are treatable, says Fung.
Post-vaccination anaphylaxis occurred in approximately two to five people per million vaccinated in the United States, according to the CDC. This kind of allergic reaction almost always occurs within 30 minutes after vaccination, and vaccine staff have medicines to immediately treat it.
Seasonal allergies arent going to cause you to have a severe reaction. If youve had severe allergic reactions in the past from food, pets, venom, latex, environmental allergies, or oral medications, you also remain advised to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
There are no food components or latex in any of the vaccines, says Fung. If you have a history of anaphylaxis from an egg or peanut or bee sting allergy, we tell people to bring an EpiPen and be prepared to wait for a 30-minute observational period. But its a precaution, and it goes for anyone with a history of anaphylaxis in general.
Its important to remember that the risk of having a severe COVID infection still outweighs the risk of a severe allergic reaction, says Fung.
The Cdc Advises You Do Not Take Painkillers Before Getting Your Vaccine
“Talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated,” says the CDC. “You can take these medications to relieve post-vaccination side effects if you have no other medical reasons that prevent you from taking these medications normally.” But crucially, they add: “It is not recommended you take these medicines before vaccination for the purpose of trying to prevent side effects.” Read on to see when painkillers are OK.
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Why Some People Have Reactions To The Vaccine
According to Jain, when you receive a vaccine, your immune system gets activated to produce a protective response against a pathogen in this case, SARS-CoV-2.
As your immune system is activated, there is a transient release of inflammatory mediators that can lead to symptoms such as soreness, redness, and swelling at the injection site or of the adjacent lymph nodes as well as fever, muscle aches, and headache, Jain said.
These symptoms typically resolve within 24 to 48 hours.
There is a small risk of developing a severe reaction if you have an allergy to polyethylene glycol or polysorbate, which are ingredients in the mRNA shots.
These types of rare severe allergic reactions, immunoglobulin E-mediated reactions, can lead to anaphylaxis.
During IgE-mediated reactions, the immune system releases histamines that can cause the lungs to contract and lead to hives, lowered blood pressure, wheezing, hives, and gastrointestinal symptoms, according to Jain.
Antihistamines can reduce the severity of these types of reactions by blocking histamine receptors throughout the body and preventing these symptoms.
Based on the report in the article, it does seem likely that most reported reactions to the vaccine were not in fact true IgE-mediated reactions that have the potential to cause anaphylaxis, Jain said.