NIH to study risk of allergic reactions to Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

The National Institutes of Health said April 7 it is launching a study to determine whether people with a history of allergic reactions are at a higher risk of allergic reaction to either Pfizer's or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. 

The study plans to determine whether people who are highly allergic or have mast cell disorders — an illness in which a white blood cell is overly reactive and predisposes someone to life-threatening reactions — are more likely to have reactions to the vaccines. 

Sponsored and funded by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the study plans to recruit 3,400 adults under age 70, about 60 percent of whom will have a history of severe allergic reactions or a diagnosis of mast cell disorder. Results are expected in the late summer, the NIH said. 

"The information gathered during this trial will help doctors advise people who are highly allergic or have a mast cell disorder about the risks and benefits of receiving these two vaccines. However, for most people, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh the risks," Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the NIAID, said in a news release.

Read the full news release here

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