COVID-19 vaccine information for people at risk of anaphylaxis
People who are at risk of anaphylaxis to ANY food, insect, latex, or gelatin are not at increased risk of anaphylaxis to the COVID-19 vaccine compared to the general population.
COVID-19 vaccination is an important way to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19. It is highly effective in protecting against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 infection.
The following information is from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), Australia and New Zealand’s peak medical body for clinical immunology and allergy.
The Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines are safe for people with allergies:
- There is no evidence that people with allergic conditions such as asthma, hay fever (allergic rhinitis), food allergy or insect sting allergy are at any greater risk of vaccine allergy compared to the general population.
- Unlike some other vaccines, there is no food, gelatin or latex in the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available, and they are not grown in eggs.
- If a person has had an allergic reaction to another vaccine, this does not mean that they will also be allergic to the COVID-19 vaccine.
- People with a known Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) allergy or previous anaphylaxis to multiple drugs (medications) should see their clinical immunology/allergy specialist to assess and confirm their allergy. The AstraZeneca vaccine may be a suitable alternative to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines if PEG allergy is confirmed.
Widespread use of COVID-19 vaccines show that severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines are very rare.
Health professionals who give vaccines in Australia and New Zealand should all be trained in the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis, and adrenaline should be readily available at all vaccination centres.
If you have a prescribed adrenaline injector, you should take it with you to your vaccination appointment, like you would carry it with you everywhere you go.
COVID-19 vaccination information needs to be from a reliable source. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines for children or adults with food allergy or risk of anaphylaxis to any trigger, go to the: