UBC Faculty Research and Publications

COVID-19 vaccine testing & administration guidance for allergists/immunologists from the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI) Vander Leek, Timothy K.; Chan, Edmond S.; Connors, Lori; Derfalvi, Beata; Ellis, Anne K.; Upton, Julia E. M.; Abrams, Elissa M.


Background: Safe and effective vaccines provide the first hope for mitigating the devastating health and economic impacts resulting from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related public health orders. Recent case reports of reactions to COVID-19 vaccines have raised questions about their safety for use in individuals with allergies and those who are immunocompromised. In this document, we aim to address these concerns and provide guidance for allergists/immunologists. Methods: Scoping review of the literature regarding COVID-19 vaccination, adverse or allergic reactions, and immunocompromise from PubMed over the term of December 2020 to present date. We filtered our search with the terms “human” and “English” and limited the search to the relevant subject age range with the term “adult.” Reports resulting from these searches and relevant references cited in those reports were reviewed and cited on the basis of their relevance. Results: Assessment by an allergist is warranted in any individual with a suspected allergy to a COVID-19 vaccine or any of its components. Assessment by an allergist is NOT required for individuals with a history of unrelated allergies, including to allergies to foods, drugs, insect venom or environmental allergens. COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to immunocompromised patients if the benefit is deemed to outweigh any potential risks of vaccination. Interpretation: This review provides the first Canadian guidance regarding assessment of an adolescent and adult with a suspected allergy to one of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available, or any of their known allergenic components, and for patients who are immunocompromised who require vaccination for COVID-19. As information is updated this guidance will be updated accordingly.

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