COVID-19 vaccination drive in US hit by allergic reaction to Pfizer vaccine, delays

A health-care worker in Juneau, Alaska, experienced flushing and shortness of breath 10 minutes after receiving a shot of Pfizer Inc. COVID-19 vaccine in the first known allergic reaction to vaccine

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
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NH Web Desk

A health-care worker in Juneau, Alaska, experienced flushing and shortness of breath 10 minutes after receiving a shot of the Pfizer Inc. Covid-19 vaccine in the first known allergic reaction to the vaccine, the state health department said in a statement on Wednesday. The episode follows reports of some similar reactions in the U.K.

The vaccine had gained an emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday.

Some other hiccups in the distribution of the vaccine in the U.S. have also emerged, including a holdup in delivering 3,900 shots to two states and the announcement that Pfizer would deliver about 900,000 fewer doses next week than are set to ship this week, NDTV reported.

One challenge in moving and storing Pfizer's shot, developed with the German drug maker BioNTech SE, has been that it must be kept at ultra-cold temperatures. Four delivery trays of the shot were pulled back from delivery to California and Alabama this week and sent back to the company because they were colder than anticipated, army general Gustave Perna, serving as Operation Warp Speed's chief operations officer was quoted as saying.


US officials also said that about 2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be allocated for the country next week, fewer than the 2.9 million available this week when the first shots shipped.

Alex Azar, the Department of Health and Human Services secretary, acknowledged production challenges that have been previously disclosed by Pfizer. "As you know, they ended up coming short by half of what they thought they'd be able to produce and what they'd announced they'd be able to produce" in 2020, Azar said.

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