COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Allergies
An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if the person must go to the hospital. Experts refer to most severe allergic reactions as anaphylaxis.
An immediate allergic reaction happens within 4 hours after getting vaccinated and could include symptoms such as hives, swelling, and wheezing (respiratory distress).
If You Are Allergic to an Ingredient in a COVID-19 Vaccine
If you have had a severe allergic reaction to an ingredient in an COVID-19 vaccine or a diagnosed allergy to an ingredient in a COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get that COVID-19 vaccine. Learn what to do if you had a severe allergic reaction after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you aren’t able to get one type of COVID-19 vaccine because you are allergic to an ingredient in that vaccine, ask your doctor if you should get a different type of COVID-19 vaccine. Learn about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines.
If You Are Allergic to Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) or Polysorbate
PEG and polysorbate are closely related to each other. However,
- PEG is an ingredient in the mRNA vaccines. If you are allergic to PEG, you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
- Polysorbate is an ingredient in Novavax and J&J/Janssen vaccines. If you are allergic to polysorbate, you should not Novavax or J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Ask your doctor if you can get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
If You Had a Non-Severe Allergic Reaction to a COVID-19 Vaccine
If you had an immediate allergic reaction (a reaction that started within 4 hours of getting vaccinated) to a COVID-19 vaccine, but the reaction was not considered severe by a medical professional, you likely can receive another dose of the same vaccine under certain conditions. Your doctor may refer you to an allergy and immunology specialist for additional care or advice.
If You Are Allergic to Other Types of Vaccines or Injections
If you have had an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to a vaccine or injectable therapy for another disease, you should discuss this with your doctor to determine which COVID-19 vaccine is best for you.
If You Have Allergies Not Related to Vaccines
CDC recommends that people get vaccinated even if they have a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex allergies. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions may also get vaccinated.