CDC Issues New Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccinations for People With Underlying Medical Conditions
People with underlying medical conditions are able to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as long as they have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
The CDC issued new guidance on Saturday aimed at helping adults with underlying health conditions or weakened immune systems to decide whether the newly released COVID-19 vaccine is appropriate for them.
“Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19,” the guidance says.
The vaccines that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine,” it added.
“Our conditions for use, is what we call them, specifically states that, if you have an allergy to any component of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, you should not receive it,” Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The ingredients of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (pdf) are listed as follows:messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol), potassium chloride, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate, and sucrose.
Meanwhile, the ingredients of the Moderna vaccine (pdf) are: mRNA, lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate, and sucrose.
This week, a doctor from Boston was the first to report an adverse reaction to the Moderna vaccine. The doctor used an EpiPen that was nearby and staffers rushed him to the emergency room which was near the room where he received the vaccination.
“What we’re learning now is that those allergic reactions could be somewhat more common than the highly uncommon that we thought they were because people do get exposed to polyethylene glycol in various pharmaceutical preparations,” Marks added, noting that the FDA also plans to watch the Moderna vaccine rollout “very closely” since both vaccines contain PEG.
In a statement, Pfizer said it “will closely monitor all reports suggestive of serious allergic reactions following vaccination.” The company said its prescribing information includes a warning that “appropriate medical treatment and supervision should always be readily available in case of a rare anaphylactic event following the administration of the vaccine."