There has been a lot of press regarding the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people with allergies, specifically the 2-dose mRNA vaccines. Adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines are being monitored closely, and, so far, the data suggest a very low rate of anaphylaxis.
Is it safe to get the mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines if you get allergy shots?
Yes, in general, there is no reason that people with allergies (i.e., environmental, foods, latex, medications, and/or venom) should not receive the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Monderna). Those with allergies should wait the recommended 15-30 minutes after vaccination at the location they receive it. Patients should still wait the recommended 24-48 hours after vaccination before getting their allergy shot.
Is it safe to get the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine if you get allergy shots?
Yes, according to the CDC, the only contraindication to getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Janssen vaccine) is a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine. Those with allergies should wait the recommended 15-30 minutes after vaccination at the location they receive it. Patients should still wait the recommended 24-48 hours after vaccination before getting their allergy shot.
When can I get my allergy shot after receiving the vaccine?
If you are undergoing immunotherapy for your allergies, we recommend the COVID-19 vaccine and the allergy shot be administered at least 24-48 hours apart. While we have not seen any reasons for patients on allergy shots not to receive either the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, waiting 24-48 hours helps avoid confusion if a reaction occurs.
Who should avoid the mRNA COVID vaccines?
There are some special circumstances to consider. Anyone with a rare history of reactions to polyethylene glycol (PEG), polysorbate, or another mRNA vaccine component should avoid the Pfizer and Modernavaccines until allergist evaluation. Most patients with a history of immediate reactions to a different vaccine can receive the COVID-19 vaccines; however, consultation with an allergist to review a detailed history and further risks/benefits may be warranted.
If you have symptoms of an allergic reaction (e.g., urticaria (hives), angioedema (swelling), wheezing, cough, abdominal symptoms, hypotension, etc.) within the first 4 hours of the first COVID-19 vaccine dose, further evaluation by an allergist is recommended prior to receiving the second dose.
Who should avoid the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?
Anyone with a rare history of reactions to polysorbate-80 or any other component of this vaccine should avoid getting the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until allergist evaluation.
Can I get allergy tested for the vaccine components before taking a vaccine?
Routine skin testing for PEG is not recommended unless you have a history of a severe allergic reaction to an injectable medication or a history of a possible reaction to PEG.
If you have any questions or concerns prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, one of our board-certified allergists can help. Schedule today to meet with one of our allergists to feel confident before receiving your COVID-19 vaccine.
Family Allergy & Asthma is not offering the COVID-19 Vaccine at any of our locations. We recommend reaching out to your local health department to determine where you can receive the vaccine locally.