At the moment about 11 people in Puerto Rico have presented allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine and of these two required medical attention in a hospital center.
This was revealed to First Hour questions by the director of the COVID Vaccination Plan of the Health Department, Iris Cardona, when ensuring that none of those affected had to be hospitalized.
“As of last week we have 11 reports of adverse events, none serious. There are two people who required care in a medical facility, but they were not hospitalized, “said the pediatric infectologist.
Recently, the specialized journal Medicine and Public Health (MSP) published that by January 4, some three health professionals on the island had presented allergic reactions to the vaccines for COVID-19. One of the three vaccinated – a nurse – had no history of allergies, said the digital scientific medium.
“All three have presented an association of tachycardia and two with a decrease in pressure, which may be the beginning of what would be anaphylaxis,” said Rafael Zaragoza, president of the Puerto Rican Association of Allergy Physicians, to the magazine.
The reactions apparently occurred 10 minutes after the vaccine was administered. Two of those affected showed a rash and itching on the skin and the other a bronchospasm.
It was detailed that all received medical attention and did not suffer major complications. The specialist recommended that people who suffered adverse effects not administer the second dose of the vaccine. “From our point of view, the second dose should not be given since it is anticipated that it will be a more severe reaction … it will be necessary to see if there are options in the next vaccines and obviously monitor if they reach any immunological response”, he explained .
Secretary of Health defends applying two doses of vaccines
On the other hand, both the Secretary of the Department of Health, Carlos Mellado, and Dr. Cardona expressed that even when federal authorities discuss whether or not it is feasible to apply a single dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – instead of the two recommended by pharmaceutical companies-, in order to have a supposed greater scope of immunization in the population, it is imperative that any decision is based on “scientific data”.
“We do not have data to establish whether it is good or not. In my opinion, as a doctor, it should be two doses … I do not have the data (sic) to issue a responsible opinion, but it is indicated that it should be two doses for greater protection. Decisions must be based on scientific evidence and, at the moment, the evidence is that it is the two doses, ”said Mellado.
For his part, Cardona assured that the plan for Puerto Rico and the 50 states and other US territories is that the two doses of the vaccine be applied to citizens.
“Yes, it is something that is under discussion with the federal authorities, but we are not sure that it will be the case and it is not based on scientific evidence … the evidence is that both are needed to have protection or immunity,” he said.
In Puerto Rico, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are administered. Both involve two doses with an interval of 21 and 28 days, respectively. It has emerged that both vaccines are more than 95% effective in preventing coronavirus infection. Instead, both doses are required.
The suggestion of rationing doses to reach more populations is being evaluated by several governments around the world, after concern has arisen that the rate of production of the drug will not be enough to contain the virus in some places where a new wave of infections – and the appearance of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 have raised alarm.