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US FDA probing 'about five' allergic reactions to Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

A healthcare worker receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Regional Medical Center in San Jose, California (Bloomberg)Premium
A healthcare worker receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at Regional Medical Center in San Jose, California (Bloomberg)

  • An FDA official said that one component of the vaccine, polyethylene glycol, may be the cause of the allergic reactions seen in both the UK and the US following the launch of mass inoculation programs
  • The states of California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas have announced more than 1,000 deaths in the past week

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is probing roughly five instances of individuals having allergic reactions to Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine against COVID-19, Peter Marks, the director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said.

"It's fair to say that there have been a few allergic reactions reported from different states of the union. I think that the total that is under investigation is roughly about five," Marks said during a media call late on Friday.

The FDA official said that one component of the vaccine, polyethylene glycol, may be the cause of the allergic reactions seen in both the United Kingdom and the United States following the launch of mass inoculation programs.

More than a week ago, two medical professionals in the United Kingdom suffered an allergic reaction after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Similar reactions were also observed in the US state of Alaska more recently.

The FDA on Friday evening gave emergency use approval to a candidate vaccine produced by Moderna, although the regulatory body warned that individuals who have a history of suffering severe allergic reactions to compounds of the vaccine should not be inoculated at this stage.

The US reported 260,663 new cases on Friday, just short of the record set on Monday. The seven-day average number of cases rose to 230,929, 10% higher than the previous week’s daily average.

Another 2,889 people died, a daily dip after three consecutive days of fatalities over 3,000. Still the weekly average climbed to 2,591, 9% higher than the previous week’s daily average.

The states of California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas have announced more than 1,000 deaths in the past week. Over 397,000 cases among students and employees at more than 1,800 institutions have been reported over the course of the pandemic, reported New York Times.

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