Study Reveals Allergic Reactions For The COVID-19 Vaccine Are Lower For The Second Dose

After receiving your first COVID-19 vaccine shot, you probably remember being instructed by a healthcare professional to wait for 15 minutes before departing. Guided to a separate area, vaccine recipients are seated while under medical observation until the waiting period has passed (via University of Michigan Health).

During this time, health experts are monitoring for the development of any potential adverse allergic reactions to the vaccine. According to Dr. Caroline Goldzweig of Cedars Sinai, "The most serious side effect is an allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which has occurred in a small number of people. While anaphylaxis is rare, you will be asked to stay at the vaccine site 15 minutes after getting your shot so the staff can make sure you're OK. For those who have a history of allergic reactions to medications or other vaccines, you will be asked to stay 30 minutes."

A 2022 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine examined data from adults who had an immediate allergic response to the first dose of the vaccine. Interestingly, researchers of the study discovered that the chances of recipients experiencing the same allergic response to the second dose are minimal (via HealthDay).

How the second dose differs

When the researchers combined their results with other studies (also known as a meta-analysis), they found that out of the nearly 1,300 patients reviewed, 14% had a mild allergic reaction to the second shot, and 99% tolerated the second shot well, according to HealthDay. It's important to note that anaphylaxis is extremely rare and no deaths have occurred due to an allergic reaction. Additionally, only four patients were found to have the same severe allergic response to the second dose.

Researchers feel their findings are further evidence of the vaccine's safety and efficacy, including the second dose and the booster shot. Lead researcher and professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, tells HealthDay, "Persons who have had an immediate allergic reaction to the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine can be safely revaccinated and receive a second dose under allergist supervision, allowing persons to be able to receive a full vaccination series."