Numerous clinical trials are now completing with early data that demonstrate that various Covid-19 vaccines are both safe and effective.
The MHRA has now approved the Pfizer/BioNTec Covid-19 vaccine. This vaccine was trialled in 43,538 adult participants with 42% having diverse backgrounds and no serious safety concerns were reported. Safety and additional efficacy data continue to be collected. With so many participants having taken part in this trial it is reassuring that there were no early allergy concerns reported.
None of the early Covid-19 vaccine candidates for use in the UK (such products may be under investigation in other Countries) are attenuated (live) vaccines and hence are unlikely to require egg proteins in the vaccine product. However, even if egg were to be required as a constituent, we know from other live vaccines such as influenza and MMR vaccines that these products are safe for those with egg allergy (the only contraindication being for those with a history of severe egg-induced anaphylaxis requiring intensive care, as no data was collected for such patients).
Egg allergy is outgrown in the first decade of life in the majority of patients, hence the greatest burden of egg allergy is borne by younger children. It is yet to be decided when Covid-19 vaccination will be offered to all children as children and young people have a very low risk of Covid-19, severe disease or death due to the virus compared to adults. Covid-19 vaccine trials have only just begun in children so it may be some time before data for children is available, but safety concerns relating to egg are not anticipated as the products are unlikely to require egg protein as a constituent.
This is obviously a fast moving scientific area and there are over 100 vaccine candidates under research so if there are specific allergy concerns related to Covid-19 vaccines please assess the following resources for more detailed information:
• Cambridge University Vaccine Website
Information for patients and Information for Healthcare Professionals has now been released for Covid-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 which was authorised for temporary supply by the MHRA on 2/12/20. This information includes a full list of vaccine ingredients and materials in the pack contents. If you have any queries about your allergies and vaccination you can call our Helpline 9am-5pm on 01252 542029.