Health Canada Warns People With Allergies to COVID-19 Vaccine Ingredients

Health Canada Warns People With Allergies to COVID-19 Vaccine Ingredients
A waitress takes an order from customers at a restaurant in Saint-Sauveur, Que., on Dec. 12, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes)
The Canadian Press

With vaccinations against COVID−19 in Canada set to begin on Monday, the federal health agency says that people with allergies to any of the vaccine’s ingredients should not receive it.

Two people in the United Kingdom had severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer−BioNTech vaccine, Health Canada said in a release on Saturday. The agency said both individuals recovered and had histories of severe allergic reactions.

Health Canada said it has reviewed the available evidence after the allergic reactions—both of which took place on Tuesday—and it is not making any changes to its recommendations about how the vaccine is used.

The agency said people with severe allergies should talk with their doctor before receiving the vaccine.

“In Canada, all vaccines carry a warning about the risk of serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, and immunization clinics are equipped to manage these rare events,” it said in the release.

Quebec’s Health Department has said it plans to start vaccinating residents at two long−term care homes, one in Montreal and one in Quebec City, on Monday.

Several other provinces have announced plans to begin vaccinating health−care workers on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a post on Twitter that the federal government will send more Canadian Forces members to help the Shamattawa First Nation fight a COVID−19 outbreak.

Eleven soldiers arrived in the fly−in community in northern Manitoba earlier this week following the arrival of a group of Canadian Rangers, the Department of National Defence said in a statement.

The troops will provide logistical support and help distribute needed goods, the department said. Around a quarter Shamattawa’s population has tested positive for COVID−19.

Public health authorities in Ontario reported 1,873 new cases of COVID−19 on Saturday and 17 additional deaths associated with the virus.

In Quebec, health officials reported 1,898 new cases of the novel coronavirus  and 40 additional deaths linked to COVID−19.

Officials in Newfoundland and Labrador reported three additional cases of COVID−19. The province has 23 active cases of COVID−19.

Officials in New Brunswick reported one new case of COVID−19. There are currently 72 active cases in the province and four people in hospital.

Meanwhile, officials in Nova Scotia are urging residents who live near a poultry plant in Berwick to be tested for COVID−19.

The Eden Valley Poultry plant is closed for at least two weeks after four cases of the virus were detected there.

Nationally, there were 6,772 new cases Friday from 81,481 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 8.3 percent.

By Jacob Serebrin