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Pfizer comments on allergic reaction to vaccine in Fairbanks healthcare worker

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 4:32 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - After Foundation Health Partners announced an employee had an anaphylactic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Thursday, the company responded to a request for comment saying that they are working with health officials to assess the incident.

According to a press release from FHP, a female employee began to have an anaphylactic reaction after being administered the vaccine on Thursday. She was taken to Fairbanks to the emergency room where she was given two epinephrine doses and monitored for six hours before being released from the hospital.

Pfizer said that: “We don’t yet have all the details of the recent report from Alaska about a potential serious allergic reaction but are actively working with local health authorities to assess. We will closely monitor all reports suggestive of serious allergic reactions following vaccination and update labeling language if needed. The prescribing information has a clear warning/precaution that appropriate medical treatment and supervision should always be readily available in case of a rare anaphylactic event following the administration of the vaccine.”

According to Foundation Health, the vaccine clinic at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital had an emergency anaphylaxis kit on hand as Pfizer recommended. They said that it was not used because the worker was taken to the ER where they administered the epinephrine.

The employee who had the reaction issued a statement saying that they still recommend everyone get the vaccine to help our country get immunized.

She was the third healthcare worker in Alaska to have an anaphylactic reaction to the Pfizer vaccine. Two other healthcare workers in Juneau reacted earlier this week. So far these three reactions are the only recorded allergic reactions in the U.S.

The Alaska Department of Health and Human Services said they are working to prepare a statement, we will update this story once that is available.

The full Pfizer statement can be read below.

We don’t yet have all the details of the recent report from Alaska about a potential serious allergic reaction but are actively working with local health authorities to assess. We will closely monitor all reports suggestive of serious allergic reactions following vaccination and update labeling language if needed. The prescribing information has a clear warning/precaution that appropriate medical treatment and supervision should always be readily available in case of a rare anaphylactic event following the administration of the vaccine.

Participants in our Phase 3 trial were excluded if they had a history of severe adverse reaction associated with a vaccine and/or severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of the investigational vaccine.

Overall, there were no safety signals of concern identified in our clinical trials, including no signal of serious allergic reactions associated with vaccine. However, reports of adverse events outside of clinical studies are a very important component to our pharmacovigilance activities and we will review all available information on this case and all reports of adverse events following vaccination.

Pfizer

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