12-29-2020 As expected we are receiving many questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, where to get
it, should I get it, which form to get, etc. One of the best resources to review is the CDC website on Vaccine Implementation.
Currently, the recommended
age group to receive the vaccine are those 65 and older. I recommend ALL patients receive the vaccine.
I received the Moderna Vaccine yesterday, being that I am on Hospital Staff at NCH. Dr Olivero will receive hers on
Thursday. Today I have a sore arm and minor muscle aches but not as bad as what I experienced with the SHINGRIX vaccine
for shingles. Getting vaccinated is the only way we can get control of this virus and get back to normal.
As far as what form, only two forms are available the Pfizer and the Moderna. The Moderna is the form that
made it to Collier County. Both are mRNA vaccines. The Moderna form was studied by Vanderbilt and NIH and is the
form Dr. Fauci received. Unfortunately, at this time the form you get is the form you are offered. Hopefully, vaccine
injections will be available soon for those over 65 in Collier County. There are limited sites giving injections to
this population in Lee County. Check local government websites or News websites for locations and times.
Having asthma, allergic rhinitis, food allergy, insect allergy or drug allergy are NOT contraindications to receiving
As far as allergic reactions, there have been several anaphylactic like
reactions reported with the COVID-19 vaccines. As with ALL medications there is a risk of allergic response. Patients
with history of anaphylaxis where epinephrine had to be administered are at higher risk than the general population.
The risk of not receiving the vaccine outweighs the risk of receiving. Therefore, all patients with a history of severe allergic
reactions of any sort should receive their vaccine at a facility that can treat anaphylaxis if it occurs and also wait 30
min instead of 15 as recommended after they receive their injection. I would recommend premedication 1 hour before with
Zyrtec 10 mg, Benadryl 50 mg or Allegra 180 mg along with Tylenol 650mg. If you have epinephrine syringes take them
As far as immunodeficient patients or those with compromised immune systems,
from cancer, chemotherapy, or other medications that suppress immune responses, the CDC has not yet given clear recommendations
for this population. The GENERAL GUIDELINES from the CDC states as long as it is not a live virus vaccine that it is
appropriate to vaccinate this vulnerable population.
The CDC has guidance for patients with
previous adverse reactions to vaccines such as Guillain-Barre and Bell's Palsy please see the following link:
Patients on Xolair or other biologic therapies for severe asthma or urticaria should receive the vaccine. I
would recommend to wait at least 1 week after receiving a biologic injection before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Hopefully, this will help to answer your questions. Please stay tuned, I will update this banner when new information
Today, there have been several questions regarding testing for
polyethylene glycol (PEG) a component of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that may be responsible for allergic reactions.
We currently do not test for IgE or immediate hypersensitivity to PEG. We will not be able to test for the vaccine until
we have access to it. We are currently researching the possibility of testing to either the vaccines or their components in
the future. If you feel the risk of a reaction by receiving the vaccine is greater than the risk of contracting
COVID-19 then do not get the vaccine.