On Saturday (December 26), the CDC released new guidelines for distributing the coronavirus vaccine. For people with certain pre-existing conditions, the CDC recommends they get the vaccine, as long as they “have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.”
The agency specified particular groups including those who have HIV or weakened immune systems, autoimmune conditions, people who’ve previously had Guillain-Barre syndrome or Bell’s palsy, could take the vaccine.
Individuals with HIV and autoimmune conditions were eligible to participate in clinical trials, however, the guidelines stated a warning that not a lot of safety data is available yet.
The vaccine rollout has been underway across the nation for several weeks, after the Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and later, Moderna’s vaccine. States have prioritized frontline healthcare workers and elderly residents of long term care facilities.
With these new guidelines, more of the most vulnerable groups will begin to get protection from the coronavirus. The vaccine uses mRNA to deliver instructions to a person’s body to create antibodies to fight against COVID-19. The shots don’t use a weakened or dead version of the virus, and have been found to be safe during clinical trials.
Two healthcare workers in Alaska had allergic reactions after receiving a dose of the Pfizer vaccine, as reported by The New York Times. One of the workers had a history of allergies, though it’s unknown if the other worker did. Both have made full recoveries.
Even with the vaccine out and an estimated two million Americans receiving their first dose, the CDC continues to recommend basic public health safety measures individuals can take to protect themselves and others from contracting COVID-19, including wearing a mask, washing hands with soap and water, avoiding crowds, and quarantining if you’ve been exposed.
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