Thursday, 17 June 2021


Singapore reviews safety of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for people with anaphylaxis

07 June 2021 | News

Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction

The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination (EC19V) at Singapore recommends extending the use of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to persons with a history of anaphylaxis not related to the mRNA vaccines. 

Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Previously, the EC19V had recommended that persons with a history of anaphylaxis should not receive the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination.

This was out of an abundance of caution in light of some overseas and local reports of anaphylaxis with the mRNA-based vaccines in individuals with a history of allergies, when the mRNA vaccines were first introduced. 

Local and international data indicates that mRNA vaccines are suitable for use in persons with anaphylaxis not related to mRNA vaccinations or its components.

To date, more than 200 million doses of mRNA-based vaccines (both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) have been administered worldwide. The data has been reassuring, and there are no safety issues detected with vaccinating individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to other triggers.

The incidence rate of anaphylaxis reported locally with these mRNA vaccines has also stabilised at about 0.85 per 100,000 doses administered, a rate comparable to that reported internationally. 

EC19V now recommends that persons with a history of anaphylaxis or allergic reactions to other drugs, food, insect stings, or unknown trigger (idiopathic) can be vaccinated with a 30-minute observation period after vaccination. 

Individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to any component of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine are still not recommended to receive the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals who have an anaphylactic reaction after the first dose of mRNA vaccine should not receive the second dose. 

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