JUNEAU, Alaska – An Alaska health worker is doing “right” after having an adverse reaction minutes after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, officials said. The health worker, who was identified as a middle-aged woman, experienced an allergic reaction, including flushing and shortness of breath, within 10 minutes of receiving the first of Pfizer’s two-dose injection on Tuesday.
She was still being observed in the Bartlett Hospital foyer at the time of the incident.
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The woman, whose name is being withheld, suffered an anaphylactic reaction that required hospitalization and monitoring, and will not receive the second dose of the vaccine, officials said at a news conference on Wednesday. She had no history of allergies and was taking a Benadryl to relieve symptoms, but it didn’t work.
(Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP via Getty Images)
Once admitted to the Bartlett Hospital emergency room, her symptoms resolved within moments of receiving epinephrine. She also received Pepcid and Benadryl through an IV, according to a press release. She is in stable condition and will be released later on Wednesday.
“We expected such an adverse reaction to occur after reports of anaphylaxis were made in England after people there received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska Chief Medical Officer. “All sites approved to provide vaccinations in Alaska must have drugs on hand to treat an allergic reaction, and that was the case in Juneau.”
Alaska health officials said there would be no changes to vaccine distribution plans after the incident and the woman had been excited to receive the vaccine.
The side effect is the first case in the US.
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