Allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccine ''not unexpected' says Jason Leitch, after two cases reported in England

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed there have been no reports of allergic reactions to the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Scotland, after two NHS workers in England had reactions on Tuesday.

Deputy charge nurse Katie McIntosh arrives to administer the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs to staff at the Western General Hospital, in Edinburgh, on Tuesday.
Deputy charge nurse Katie McIntosh arrives to administer the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs to staff at the Western General Hospital, in Edinburgh, on Tuesday.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning that people with a history of “significant” allergic reactions should not currently receive the jab.

Anyone now due to receive the vaccine will be asked about their history of allergic reactions.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Ms Sturgeon said on Wednesday: “We are not aware at this stage of anybody in Scotland having the severe reaction that has been reported in two people in England [...] what we’re talking about here are severe reactions and we have not had any of those reported in Scotland.

"If that was the case then that would be recorded through the normal processes as they have been in England.”

National Clinical Director Jason Leitch said the reactions were “not unexpected” and formed part of the mass vaccination process.

“We take this very very seriously as you would expect us to do,” he said.

Read More

Read More
Two people have had allergic reactions to Covid-19 vaccine, UK health chief says

"This is a rare event, but actually to the clinicians in the vaccine programme this is not entirely unexpected. I don't wish to seem cold, it is rare but not unexpected."

Professor Leitch said all four nations had been told by midnight on Tuesday, and were updated on calls overnight and on Wednesday morning about the new advice.

He added: “Pfizer have put out a precautionary note to say that we should make sure we ask every individual who is having a vaccine: ‘Have you ever had a reaction to a drug or food, a severe reaction that requires you to have adrenaline, that requires you to go to an accident and emergency department’.”

“For them, for now, until we see how the numbers work out over time, they will not be not be receiving this vaccine.”

The two NHS workers developed symptoms of “anaphylactoid reaction” shortly after receiving the vaccine, but both recovered after the appropriate treatment.

Pfizer said the vaccine was “well tolerated” during the trials with “no serious safety concerns”.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.