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CDC director says anaphylaxis reaction to Covid as low as two-in-million as US vaccinates record 1.6m per day

Danielle Zoellner
·2-min read
<p>Dr Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, says anaphylaxis reactions to Covid-19 vaccine are  occurring in only 2.1 to 6.1 cases per million. </p> (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Dr Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, says anaphylaxis reactions to Covid-19 vaccine are occurring in only 2.1 to 6.1 cases per million.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Anaphylaxis reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine have been a concern among Americans as health experts work to boost public confidence in the jab.

But Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed that anaphylaxis reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine have occurred in only “2.1 to 6.1 cases per million" during the White House Covid-19 response team’s first press briefing on Wednesday.

“These are rare treatable outcomes,” Dr Walensky said.

Concern sparked after several healthcare professionals in the US and UK reportedly experienced an anaphylaxis reaction to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine within an hour of receiving the jab. The individuals were monitored in a hospital setting and later released.

In response to the reaction, vaccine sites across the US make people wait at least 15 minutes after receiving the jab so a healthcare professional can monitor them for any side effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required this step to ensure safety.

Dr Walensky also revealed that the United States has averaged administering a record 1.6 million Covid-19 vaccines per day in the last week.

President Joe Biden set the goal prior to entering office for at least 100 million vaccines to be administered within his first 100 days in office, which would require at least one million doses per day to be administered.

This has put pressure on manufacturing, distributing, and administering enough vaccine for states so the goal could be reached. But the US was currently on track to meet, and even surpass, the 100 million vaccines target.

State governors in recent weeks have complained the federal government was not sending enough doses each week to keep up with demand. In response to the complaints, the Biden administration announced it would now be sending about 15 per cent more to states next week. In total, the government will ship out about 10.1 million doses next week compared to its previous 8.6 million.

“The end goal is to beat Covid-19, and the way we do that is to get more people vaccinated,” Mr Biden said on Tuesday after announcing the increased doses to states. "Which means we have to be ready after we hit the goal of 100 million shots in 100 days."

The Biden administration purchased an additional 200 million vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna, which will be delivered by the summer. This means that the US could have enough doses to vaccinate 300 million Americans, given that each vaccine requires two doses, by the end of the summer or the beginning of the fall months.

But Andy Slavitt, Mr Biden’s coronavirus adviser, warned during the press briefing on Wednesday that “it will be months before everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one”.

Watch: What does a Joe Biden presidency in the US mean for the global economy?

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