Allergies, asthma and covid19 vaccines

As a parent of kids with food allergies and asthma, I want to protect them from getting the coronavirus especially with may eldest and middle child being away in college. Now that more and more of the vaccines are being given EAU by FDA, what are your thoughts on possibly vaccinating your kids especially if they have allergies? What do your respective pediatricians or family doctors recommend regarding this issue?

I know my eldest son mentioned wanting to get the vaccine. My daughter hasn’t said anything yet. With the exception of our youngest son, all of us in the household have received the vaccines (both set of grandparents received the first dose this month). I am glad that we were able to get them the shots as our school district plans to open full in person learning after spring break.

Your thoughts?

Our S has a severe peanut allergy and has a history of mild asthma. He has received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine with no issues aside of a sore arm and some chills after shot #2.


My older brother (he’s 60) has pretty severe asthma brought on by dust and mold, and he had both shots with no side effects (the Pfizer vaccine as well).


When the vaccine is approved for their age group, my children will be vaccinated. But I’m a shot first, explain later sort of parent. I did enjoy listening to my 11yo son explain to his 9yo sister that he was a hero for protecting her cervix. No allergies.


Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC has an Appendix C at the bottom listing some ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccines.

If someone has a known allergy to something, checking the something against the list may be worth doing. If it is found in some but not all of the vaccines, then there is a medical reason for choosing a vaccine without the allergy-causing ingredient.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polysorbate-80 are the most commonly mentioned allergy triggers. Note that they are somewhat related, so there is a caution on the other for someone allergic to one. A footnote at the bottom of Appendix B is this:


Oh wow!!! Good for him. This is encouraging. My eldest son is allergic to fish and tree nuts and my middle child, a daughter, is severely allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and fish and has had a couple anaphylaxis reactions from food ingestion before. I understand everyones body’s immune reaction is different but learning this is encouraging.

I’m allergic to tree nuts and my oldest son is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Son received Pfizer in January (EMT/Firefighter) with no issues, and I just received my first Moderna vaccine over the weekend. We did have to wait 30 minutes instead of 15 to be sure there were no issues.


We have multiple family allergies. The thing that concerns me the most is one of my kids has an unknown allergy ( and long ago had something connected to auto immune issues).

We’re going to wait for the J&J. One shot less risk. By the time, we’re eligible it would have been tested on many millions.

IMO, most pediatricians have always pushed for ALL vaccines. Doctors who are specialists, like allergy/etc. not so much and some even say to wait. Haven’t spoken to the specialists because kids can’t get the shots yet.


I’m allergic to tree nuts and have severe asthma. No problems with either dose of Moderna.


Good to hear! My 17 year old also has a history of mild asthma but as far as I am aware she would only qualify for the shot if she used a steroid inhaler. Did your son qualify for the vaccine due to another condition?

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Peanut, tree nut allergic child with a couple unexplained anaphylactic episodes had no allergy issues with 2 doses Pfizer.

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He worked at a mass vaccination site and volunteers received shots if they were available at the end of the shift.


My DS and I both have severe asthma. I have allergies to shellfish, apples and sulfa-based drugs (anaphylactic reactions to all). My son has allergies to sweet potatoes and raspberries (hives). We are both scheduled for Pfizer first dose tomorrow. We also have to wait half an hour instead of 15 minutes and are getting it at the hospital instead of another location as an added precaution. I’ve had allergic reactions to my allergy shots and to a tetanus vaccine (although that was 45 years ago, I’ve had tetanus boosters since with no reaction and get flu vaccine every year with no problem).

@ucbalumnus The PEG ingredient is used in colonoscopy prep solutions - thanks for posting that information about the vaccine because it is good to know that since I’ve had to drink that awful stuff three times, I am likely not allergic to at least that ingredient.


Someone who does get an allergic reaction to a vaccine (against anything) may want to find out the brand and ingredients of that vaccine, since it is possible that other brands of vaccine against the same disease have different ingredients that may not include the allergy-activating one. (Also, best to get the ingredients at the time, since a brand’s vaccine may be changed later.)

Obviously hard to do from a vaccine 45 years ago, though.

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:laughing: When you mentioned your S I was picturing a minor! Duh! :roll_eyes: Good for him! And thank you so much for sharing his experience. :blush:

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Actually, I do know what it was 45 years ago. My mom had allergies and knew to ask so it wouldn’t happen again. Horse serum…it was used for tetanus vaccines in the 60’s and 70’s and is known to have cause severe anaphylactic reactions and deaths. A snip from a very old article found is Fatal Anaphylactic Shock: Following Intradermal Skin Test with Dilute Horse Serum Tetanus Antitoxin | JAMA | JAMA Network

For more than 35 years, the medical literature has contained numerous publications concerning (1) the prevention of the 50% fatal disease tetanus, by either active or passive immunization, and (2) the dangers and severe reactions resulting from the use of horse serum in the passive type of prevention. The following case, however, is the first report of a death occurring as the direct result of an intracutaneous skin test of a dilute dose of tetanus antitoxin obtained from horse serum.

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That’s a good idea to have the vaccine shot at the hospital. It’s something that we will consider once the vaccines becomes available to everyone. Thank you for sharing this.

Just got home a little while ago. They took all my info and allergies and said none of my shellfish or other food allergies (or the reaction to the tetanus shot 45 years ago) were contraindicated for the Pfizer vaccine they were about to give me. They were really good about making sure they had my full list of my allergies and my DS allergies. We definitely waited our 30 minutes and had our benadryl, epi-pens and inhalers in the car just in case we needed them on the ride home. So far, just a headache and sore arm, no anaphylactic reaction thus far. Nurse did say that if either one of us has had covid and didn’t know it, we could experience harsher side effects after this first dose than someone who never had covid.


I have all kinds of allergies and have never had any problem with any vaccination. I will get the COVID vaccine as soon as it is available.

Where we live it has been very tough to get. One 89 year old that I know is only getting their second shot tomorrow, and 65+ year old people with multiple preexisting conditions have in most cases not been able to get the shots yet. The governor of Massachusetts yesterday said that he is not going to take the vaccine away from people over 65 with multiple preexisting conditions in order to vaccine school teachers. The head of the school teachers union was unhappy with this but IMHO the governor is entirely correct.

I think that the risk of getting vaccinated is far lower than the risk of not getting vaccinated. This is particularly true for people who are over 65 or people (even much younger) who have asthma.

I did finally get an appointment for a shot, and in the directions they said that I would need to stay for perhaps 1/2 hour after the shot to check for allergic reactions. This seems like a reasonable precaution to me.

Everyone in my family is going to get the vaccine the first day that it is available to us.


I have had reactions to injections (most with polysorbate 80) in the past and also to Miralax, which is pure polyethylene glycol (PEG). I have many sensitivities and a few allergies and I make a distinction between sensitivity/reaction and allergy/anaphylaxis.

I am nervous about all of these COVID vaccines. I did a test at home with 1/500 dose of Miralax (tiny amount diluted in a large amount of water, and had a tsp) and my lymph nodes swelled, and burning/chill sensation instantly swept my body. Okay then.

My allergist, however, says that I am likely to have a reaction, not anaphylaxis, and should go ahead. I am bringing epi-pen, inhaler, Benadryl and famatodine (H2 blocker).

Soooo many products have polyethylene glycol in them. Tooothpaste, Afrin, Benadryl gel caps, Mupirocin ointment… on and on. Sure injections behave differently but I feel pretty safe. Miralax is pure PEG so I am trying not to worry about solutions that only have a small percentage of it.

I was sick for awhile and have had to cancel vaccine appointments but will let you know what happens. Earlier I could find the vaccine I wanted, but now it is hard to tell which one we are going to get and we have no choice.