Britain’s medicine regulator has advised that people with a history of significant allergic reactions do not get Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine after two people reported adverse effects on the first day of rollout.
Britain began mass vaccinating its population on Tuesday in a global drive that poses one of the biggest logistical challenges in peacetime history, starting with the elderly and frontline workers.
National Health Service medical director Stephen Powis said the advice had been changed after two NHS workers reported anaphylactoid reactions associated with receiving the vaccine.
“As is common with new vaccines the MHRA (regulator) have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination, after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday,” Powis said.
Canada has approved Pfizer’s vaccine, its drug regulator, Health Canada, said on Wednesday, opening the possibility that Canadians will start receiving it next week. It said that it completed a full independent review of the data on the vaccine’s safety.