Can you have an allergic reaction to a vaccine?

Vaccine

Can you have an allergic reaction to a vaccine?

With everything that is currently going on with the coronavirus, a potential vaccine is on everyone’s lips. It would be the next big step in stopping the virus that is ravaging the world. When it comes, we can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

It’s a long way away, but it’s still at the forefront of our minds. But for some, they might be worried about an allergic reaction. It begs the question: can you have an allergic reaction to a vaccine?

Why vaccines are safe

The short answer is yes, you can have an allergic reaction to a vaccine. But the chances of having an anaphylactic shock in response to a vaccine is about 1 in 760,000. You’re more likely to be struck by lightning this year (1 in 700,000). A doctor would never recommend you forgo a vaccine just on this random chance.

To add to that, were you to have an extremely unlikely reaction, they tend to happen within minutes of the injection. This means your doctor can respond immediately and keep you safe. The chances of having a reaction hours after the injection are even slimmer. Basically, you’ve never been in safer hands.

Am I having a reaction?

Sometimes, people can interpret symptoms after the injection as an allergic reaction. A fever, pain, chills, swelling, and headaches are just some of the ailments people report having. And they can happen days after the immunisation. But these aren’t allergic reactions.

This is your body responding to the vaccine. They work by giving you a little bit of the virus, allowing you to build up an immunity to it. By activating your immune system, it will create the white blood cells you need to fight off the actual virus.

If you do have a reaction to something, the likelihood is it’s from something else in the injection process. The latex in the rubber stoppers used in vials might end up on your skin, causing a reaction. While actual latex isn’t used so much today for these stoppers, it might still be an answer worth exploring. Talk to your doctor about it.

There’s a lot of false information about vaccines on the internet. What’s important is you trust your doctors and take their advice on the issue. If we want to beat coronavirus – or any virus, period – we need to use vaccines to make us a healthier society. If you have any allergy concerns, talk them through with an allergist who can give you the best advice.

We are allergy experts who can answer any burning questions you may have. It’s a scary time and we want you to feel comfortable about your allergies. Feel free to get in touch with us on 02031 433 449 or visit our website.

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