NIH to Study Allergic Reactions Linked to COVID-19 Shots
The National Institutes of Health plans to begin a clinical trial that aims to help doctors “predict and manage” allergic reactions related to Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed, said during a Monday news briefing that the aim of the trial, which will also study the Moderna Inc. shot just authorized for emergency use, will be to pinpoint why the incidents, known as anaphylaxis, are occurring.
During the briefing, Slaoui also addressed a new variant of the virus seen in the U.K., saying it’s no more dangerous than other strains and that there is “no hard evidence” it is more transmissible. Getting the data to determine that, he said, will take weeks.
The emergence of the allergic reactions, even in just a handful of cases, and questions surrounding the U.K. mutation have opened new concerns worldwide about the virus. France, Germany, Italy and other countries have already gone as far as blocking travel from the U.K. after the variant was identified.
“It’s clear, it’s not more pathogenic” than other strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Slaoui said. He also said he expects the existing vaccines will likely still offer protection against it.
To date, he said, “there is no hard evidence that this virus is actually more transmissible.” The virus may have been “seeded” more widely in the southeast England area where it’s now being detected with greater frequency.
The NIH study on reactions to the Pfizer vaccine will test the shots “in highly allergic individuals,” Slaoui said. Both the Pfizer and Moderna shots — which are based on similar messenger RNA technology — will be studied, he said.
Both vaccines authorized for emergency use in the U.S. have been ruled generally safe, and both were found to be better than 90% effective in late-stage trials. Side effects noted have included headaches and fatigue, but they have ended within a couple of days.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
In The News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden urged Senate Democrats to rally behind a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill and stood by his proposed $1,400 payments to individuals, even as some party moderates sought to dial back parts of the package."He said we need to pass this... Read More
Pharmceutical giant Merck & Co. will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved coronavirus vaccine in an effort to expand supply more quickly, the White House announcedTuesday. The partnership will help advance the administration's goal of speeding up production of the single-dose vaccine and accelerate... Read More
LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded the state’s face mask mandate Tuesday afternoon, declaring that it’s time for Texans to get back to business. “Under no circumstance can someone be punished for not wearing a mask,” Abbott said as he was surrounded by local... Read More
WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5. That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats' hopes of including a minimum wage increase in their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill seemed all but dead as the Senate prepared to debate its own version of the House-passed aid package. Four days after the chamber's parliamentarian said Senate rules forbid... Read More
WASHINGTON - On Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization to a third coronavirus vaccine. This vaccine, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which received emergency authorizations in December, is a single shot vaccine. Placebo-controlled, randomized studies of 43,783 participants across eight countries, including... Read More