Coronavirus: Vaccination

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 20th December 2021.

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Photo of Apsana Begum Apsana Begum Labour, Poplar and Limehouse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support and treatment is being developed to protect people from covid-19 who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to vaccinations.

Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Antivirals Taskforce has secured 480,000 patient courses of Molnupiravir and 250,000 courses of PF-07321332 from Pfizer. These novel treatments may be used to treat individuals who do not respond to the vaccine, such as immunocompromised groups, as well as those who are unable to take the vaccine due to allergies. Molnupiravir is now available to clinically eligible patients through a new national study. Participants will be randomly selected and will still be able to access any other National Health Service care. In addition, patients in the highest-risk group will be able to access antiviral treatments directly, without the need to enrol in the study.

The UK Health Security Agency’s Green Book provides advice for clinicians to assess individuals with a history of allergies who may suffer an allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine. It also sets out how second dose vaccinations may be considered for those who experienced a reaction to the first dose. The advice has been developed with the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI).

Anyone with a history of allergic reaction to an ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine should not receive that vaccine, except with expert advice and should be offered an alternative if appropriate. Those with any other allergies, including those with prior anaphylaxis, can receive the vaccine. If an individual has an allergic reaction to a first dose of vaccine, the BSACI has advised that these individuals may be able to receive a second dose of vaccine. Many individuals have tolerated subsequent doses of the same vaccine and this is preferred as it avoids an individual being wrongly labelled as allergic for life. Individuals with non-allergic reactions to the first dose can receive the second dose in any vaccination setting.

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