The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday about 207.6 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 176.7 million people who have been fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Medical experts say just about everyone can and should get vaccinated, but exceptions exist.
That brings us to our latest Ask A COVID Question, can you get a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine?
Experts say the answer is yes, but that it's rare.
It all boils down to allergies and allergic reactions. According to Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine, a medical exemption is due to a patient having a contraindication to the vaccine—meaning getting it could be bad for their health.
The FDA says that people with a "known history of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any component of Comirnaty" shouldn't get the vaccine. So, if you have a known—severe—allergy to one of the ingredients in the vaccine, you shouldn't get it.
It's worth noting that a miniscule number of people have had anaphylactic reactions to covid-19 vaccines—data shows it's about two to five cases per million doses. But if you are allergic to the ingredients in one vaccine, there are others to choose from.
Experts suggest meeting with an allergist. They can give you allergy testing to see exactly what you're allergic to and recommend the right vaccine for you.
Here's a list of the Comirnaty vaccine ingredients:
- Lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol)
- Potassium chloride
- Monobasic potassium phosphate
- Sodium chloride
- Dibasic sodium phosphate dehydrate
here's a list of the ingredients in the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine:
- Lipids (SM-102, 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 [PEG2000-DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC])
- Tromethamine hydrochloride
- Acetic acid
- Sodium acetate
And the ingredients for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine:
- Recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein
- Citric acid monohydrate
- Trisodium citrate dihydrate
- 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD)
- Sodium chloride
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