Your Covid-19 questions answered

Is it safe to get the vaccine if you are allergic to eggs?

02 September 2021 - 07:00
People who are allergic to eggs are advised to wait a little longer for observation after getting the Covid-19 jab. File photo.
People who are allergic to eggs are advised to wait a little longer for observation after getting the Covid-19 jab. File photo.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo

The Covid-19 vaccine is safe for most people, including those who are allergic to foods such as eggs.

According to the national health department, the vaccine does not contain egg proteins and is therefore safe to get.

However, those who have such allergies may be asked to stay at the vaccination centre a little longer for observation.

“None of the Covid-19 vaccines have any egg proteins. However, you will have to stay in the observation area for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine, instead of the standard 15 minutes, because you have a history of allergies,” it advises. 

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) also advises those who have a history of severe reactions to any component of the Covid-19 vaccine to speak to a healthcare practitioner before getting the jab.

A paper by associate professor Jonny Peter from the University of Cape Town (UCT) department of medicine's allergology and clinical immunology division, in the South African Medical Journal, explores the relationship between the vaccine and allergies. 

Peter's findings are similar to those of other experts: “Vaccination offers the opportunity for both individual and, with sufficient coverage, herd protection against Covid-19 infection and disease. If vaccination is safe and available, it should therefore be done.

“Vaccination should only be contraindicated in the very small group of patients with a prior anaphylactic reaction to either the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine formulation, for example, PEG (polyethylene glycol).

“However, given the emerging nature of efficacy data and the exclusion of certain subgroups of patients with immune-based disease, counselling of patients must make it clear regarding where vaccine effectiveness is unknown and may be reduced, and all other efforts to avoid infection must continue."


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