COVID-19 Vaccination Update
COVID-19 vaccination is an important way to reduce the risk of developing COVID-19, which is caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Even if a person does get infected, it is likely to be a milder illness if they have been vaccinated.
Once there is a very high level of COVID-19 vaccination in the population, this can allow travel, work, schools, social activities and in person retail shopping to resume.
From an allergy perspective the only contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination is documented anaphylaxis to a previous COVID-19 vaccine or documented anaphylaxis to one of the components (excipients) contained in COVID-19 vaccines. There is limited use for skin testing to COVID vaccines and their excipients.
Anaphylaxis to vaccines is rare, and almost always occurs within 30 minutes of vaccination. Most people who have anaphylaxis to one type of COVID-19 vaccine will be able to have one of the other types of COVID-19 vaccines.
The seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and health consequences mean that medical exemptions under the 'other specified medical condition' category are generally not issued.
Clinical immunology/allergy specialists are strong advocates for vaccination. Due to current waiting times of at least six months for appointments to see clinical immunology/allergy specialists, discussions about the numerous benefits and rare risks of COVID-19 vaccination may delay timely vaccination, and people seeking medical exemptions should be aware of the health consequences.
Further information is available from the ASCIA website