Suspected hypersensitivity reactions, particularly non-urticarial skin rashes following immunisation, are common, however true vaccine allergy, where a person is contraindicated from being immunised with the same vaccine in the future, is rare (in most studies reported as less than 1 case per million doses).

Post-licensure surveillance of COVID-19 vaccines show anaphylaxis following administration of COVID-19 AstraZeneca occurring at similar rates to routine vaccines.  Anaphylaxis following Comirnaty™ (Pfizer/BioNTech), while still extremely rare, occurs at a slightly higher rate of approximately 4.7 cases per million doses.

A confirmed vaccine allergy usually requires a specialist consultation with a vaccine allergy specialist, often with specific testing or a vaccine challenge under supervision.

Find out more about allergies to COVID-19 vaccines, allergies to components of COVID-19 vaccines, and management of these allergies in our new immunisation reference page, COVID-19 vaccines and allergy.