A health care worker in New York City had a serious adverse reaction to a coronavirus vaccine, officials said on Wednesday.
New York City Health Commissioner David Chokshi said during a news conference that the unidentified worker experienced a “significant allergic reaction” to the vaccine. He added that the worker was treated for the reaction, and is in stable condition and recovering.
The incident was the first adverse reaction reported in the city.
Chokshi said the department has been tracking side effects to coronavirus vaccines in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but noted they are uncommon. He advised those who have had allergic reactions to previous vaccines or injectable medications to consult their doctors before getting vaccinated.
“For the vast, vast majority of people who have allergies that situation doesn’t apply,” he said. “The COVID-19 vaccine will be safe and effective for those people and everyone else.”
The reaction comes less than a week after the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating multiple reports of adverse reactions to Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine in Alaska and other states.
Peter Marks, who leads the agency’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said Friday that it was not clear what caused the reactions. However, he indicated that a chemical called polyethylene glycol, which is present in both Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine as well as Moderna’s, “could be the culprit.”
In guidelines issued Saturday, the CDC advises those who experiences a severe reaction after the first dose to not get the second shot.
The U.K.’s health regulator warned earlier this month that those who experienced “significant” histories of allergic reactions should not get Pfizer’s vaccine after two people reported adverse reactions.