In this MD Newsline exclusive interview with allergist and immunologist Dr. Purvi Parikh, we discuss how the COVID-19 vaccine has impacted people with asthma and allergies. We also discuss allergic reactions and adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine.
How has the COVID-19 vaccine impacted your patients with asthma and allergies?
Dr. Purvi Parikh:
“The COVID-19 vaccine has impacted my patients in a great way. Many of my patients are high-risk individuals for contracting COVID-19 and for contracting severe COVID-19. So this [vaccine] has been [a] relief and a glimmer of hope for them that we could be seeing the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Also, it gives them an extra layer of protection now against the virus and bad health outcomes.”
What should other healthcare providers know about allergic reactions and adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine?
Dr. Purvi Parikh:
“Allergic reactions and adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are exceedingly rare. Allergic reactions to the vaccine occur at a rate of almost one in a million. So you’re more likely to be hit by lightning than have a true allergic reaction or a severe allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. A recent study in JAMA showed that the incidence—even in the first few months of vaccination—was very low at 0.0003%.
So again, the majority of reported allergic reactions weren’t true allergic reactions, thankfully. Adverse reactions also are exceedingly rare. Luckily, the overwhelming majority of people do very well [with the vaccine], and the benefits far outweigh the risks. The complications and adverse outcomes from COVID-19 are far, far more common and more devastating.”
Responses have been condensed and lightly edited.