Participants needed for Pa. clinical trial evaluating allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccinate PA

HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — For many people, rolling up their sleeves doesn’t come with a risk, but people who have had severe allergic reactions might think twice before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Doctors at Penn State Health are taking part in a new study, with the goal of easing those fears.

“The people we’re looking for are those who have had severe allergic reactions to bees, to foods, vaccines, latex, or those people who have any kind of mass cell-related disease, mastocytosis, and mast cell activation syndrome,” Dr. Timothy Craig, professor of medicine and pediatrics and an allergy, asthma and immunology specialist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, said.

Those are the people who Dr. Craig says are most at risk for experiencing anaphylaxis.

“Every six to 12 months in the future, we’ll probably get the covid vaccine again and that’s going to be important to know who is and who is not allergic to the vaccines and who can get it,” Craig said.

The trial will enroll 3,400 adults ages 18 to 69 at more than two dozen academic allergy research centers nationwide. Penn State College of Medicine is the only one in Pennsylvania.

“We have the usual ages for both the Pfizer and Modern for the adults and now we’re going down into adolescence and hopefully further into children over a period of time in the next couple of weeks,” Craig said.

Participants will be monitored closely for 90 minutes after getting the shot. There will be plenty of emergency medications, oxygen, and medical equipment on hand, just in case.

“The risk of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine is so low that it’s always better to be vaccinated than not to be vaccinated,” Craig said.

For more information on the trial visit StudyFinder, call 717-531-4513 or go to ClinicalTrials.gov and search NCT04761822.

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