Can the COVID-19 vaccines trigger underlying autoimmune diseases or allergies?
Answered by allergist and immunologist Sara May, MD:
Allergies to vaccines are exceedingly rare. Before COVID-19, approximately 1 in 5 million people worldwide developed an allergic reaction to a vaccine. Allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine have been recorded in about 1 in 1 million cases.
Adverse allergic reactions to vaccines are usually caused by other substances required to maintain the stability and sterility of the vaccine such as gelatin proteins or other preservatives and stabilizers rather than the infectious protein component. The COVID-19 vaccines have fewer components than most other vaccines. However, if you have had an allergic reaction to certain injectable drugs or MiraLAX in the past, you may have a higher risk of having an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine.
This would be a reason to consider allergy evaluation before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. We offer COVID-19 vaccine allergy testing in our clinic and have been very successful at providing these vaccines safely to patients that are concerned about previous possible reactions after allergy testing is completed.