The Only 2 People Who Shouldn't Get the COVID Vaccine, FDA Official Says

Everyone else should be fine to receive their vaccinations when they are able to.

It's clear that some people have their reservations about the coronavirus vaccine: A Dec. 2020 survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 27 percent of the public is still hesitant about getting inoculated. However, the vaccine has been proven to be safe for most people. In fact, a Food Drug and Administration (FDA) official just confirmed that there are only two people who shouldn't get vaccine: those who have a known allergy to one of the vaccines' ingredients, and those who had a bad allergic reaction to their first dose. Keep reading for more on these groups, and for other vaccine news, If You've Done This Recently, You Could Have a Bad Vaccine Reaction.

There have been several discussions surrounding people with allergies and the COVID vaccine. And while some allergies are a reason to hold off on getting vaccinated, Peter Marks, MD, the director for the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, says most aren't.

"Right now, the only things that would prevent you from getting vaccinated is if you had a known allergy to one of the things that are in the vaccines or if you had a bad allergic reaction to the first shot," Marks said during an video event hosted by on Jan. 7.

Currently, there are two COVID vaccines available in the United States—Pfizer and Moderna. Both shots offer a full list of their ingredients on the FDA site.

When specifically asked about shellfish allergies, Marks said that this was "not a reason not to get vaccinated." However, he did say that you should tell your provider if you have this allergy or any other, as "all the providers that are giving the vaccine right now are prepared to deal with allergic reactions, and you should tell them, so that they might take a little bit more precaution."

These precautions include monitoring these patients a little longer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that any patient with a history of allergic reaction to any vaccine or injectable therapy and anyone with a history of severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, should be monitored for 30 minutes after their shot. Everyone else can be discharged after just 15 minutes.

While online conversation may make it seem like there have been several severe cases of allergic reactions to the COVID vaccine, these responses are actually quite rare, per the CDC. In a report released Jan. 6, the CDC says it only has confirmed 21 cases of severe allergic reaction out of the first 1.9 million coronavirus vaccine doses administered. No deaths have been reported, and 20 of these individuals have already recovered and been sent home by the time of the report's release.

The CDC looked into these patients' past history of allergies and allergic reactions, and shared their findings. Keep reading for some of the factors behind these vaccine recipients' bad reactions, and for more coronavirus vaccine guidance, The FDA Just Ruled You Can't Do These 4 Things With the COVID Vaccines.

Previous vaccines

COVID vaccine

The CDC reported that one 55-year-old woman with a history of a severe allergic reaction to the rabies vaccine was treated for anaphylaxis following the COVID vaccine. Another was a 44-year-old woman who had a history of anaphylaxis due to the flu vaccine. And for more coronavirus news, Lacking This Vitamin Could Put You at Risk of Severe COVID, New Study Says.

Sulfa drugs

Woman in Bathroom Looking at Pill Bottle

Four of those who experienced a severe allergic reaction to the COVID vaccine had a history of allergies related to sulfa drugs. All four were females aged 29 to 60. Sulfa drugs include some diabetes medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, and more. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.


woman picking up a nut from a basket of nuts

Two cases were reported in individuals with nut allergies. One was a 40-year-old woman who also had allergies related to sulfa drugs, but had a history of severe allergic reactions to walnuts. The other was a 46-year-old woman with allergies to hydrocodone and nuts, but no history of anaphylaxis. And for more on the current state of the pandemic, The New COVID Strain Is Now in These 8 States.


Bee Sting Does to Body

One of the anaphylaxis patients was a 33-year-old woman who was allergic to wasp stings. Another was a 30-year-old woman who was allergic to bee stings. Both recovered at the time of the CDC report. And if you're eager to get your shot, These Are the First Pharmacies Where You Can Get the COVID Vaccine.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
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