COVID-19 Vaccines FAQ

The CSACI recommends that anyone who has had a severe reaction to one of the COVID-19 vaccines should be referred to a trained allergy specialist to diagnose whether it was an allergic reaction. If it was, there are possible options for the second dose. The allergist may give you the second dose of the vaccine safely using a procedure called a “graded administration”, or may recommend a different COVID-19 vaccine.
The CSACI recommends that if you have a possible allergy to PEG or any other ingredient of a COVID-19 vaccine, you should be referred to a trained allergy specialist to properly diagnose your allergy. If you are allergic to PEG or another ingredient in one of the COVID-19 vaccines, your allergist may be able to help you find a way to be safely immunized for COVID-19. Not all COVID-19 vaccines contain PEG, and even if you are allergic to PEG, you may not be allergic to the type of PEG in the COVID-19 vaccine. Your allergist can help you find a vaccine that you can receive safely, or may give you a vaccine safely using a procedure called a “graded administration”.
The CSACI recommends that if you have a possible allergy to PEG, polysorbate, or any other ingredient of a COVID-19 vaccine, you should be referred to a trained allergy specialist to properly diagnose your allergy. If you are allergic to PEG, polysorbate, or another ingredient in one of the COVID-19 vaccines, your allergist may be able to help you find a way to be safely immunized for COVID-19. Some COVID-19 vaccines contain PEG, and other COVID-19 vaccines contain polysorbate. Your allergist can help you find a vaccine that you can receive safely or may give you a vaccine safely using a procedure called a “graded administration”.
No. Propylene glycol (PG) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) have similar sounding names, but are completely different compounds that cause different types of reactions. The CSACI recommends that if you have a contact allergy to propylene glycol, but do not have any history of an allergy to PEG, then you may safely receive a vaccine containing PEG (see also: https://www.aaaai.org/ask-the-expert/Cross-reactivity-between-propylene-glycol-and-macr)
The CSACI recommends that you ask your healthcare provider whether the vaccine you reacted to contains any similar ingredients to the COVID-19 vaccine you are scheduled to be getting. If the vaccine you reacted to does not have any similar ingredients, then you may receive the COVID-19 vaccine without any special precautions. However, if the vaccine you reacted to contains any similar ingredients, the CSACI recommends that you be referred to a trained allergy specialist to properly diagnose your allergy. If you are allergic to PEG, polysorbate, or another ingredient in one of the COVID-19 vaccines, your allergist may be able to help you find a way to be safely immunized for COVID-19. Your allergist can help you find a vaccine that you can receive safely, or may give you a vaccine safely using a procedure called a “graded administration”.
Yes, you can be vaccinated for COVID-19. You do not need to see an allergist before being vaccinated for COVID-19, since none of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines have any ingredients that are similar to an x-ray dye. The CSACI recommends that anyone with allergies to something that is NOT an ingredient of the COVID-19 vaccines, including foods, insects, drugs or environmental allergens (e.g. dog, pollen), can be vaccinated for COVID-19 without any special precautions.
Yes, you can safely get the COVID-19 vaccine. The CSACI recommends that only those who have a confirmed allergy to one of the ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccine or have reacted after getting their first dose of the vaccine, need to see an allergy specialist before being vaccinated for COVID-19.
Yes, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine. The CSACI advises that someone with food allergy does NOT need to avoid the COVID19 vaccine, and you can get this vaccine in the usual way and in a regular setting without any extra safety precautions.
Answer: Yes, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine. The CSACI advises that someone receiving OIT for food allergy does NOT need to avoid the COVID-19 vaccine, and you can get this vaccine in the usual way and in a regular setting without any extra safety precautions. The CSACI recommends that you do not increase your OIT dose on the same day that you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but ideally wait at least 72 hours between, to make it easier to tell what may have caused a problem if you have a reaction after either of these treatments.
You can safely be vaccinated for COVID-19. The CSACI advises that someone with allergies to environmental allergens, such as pollens, molds, dust mites or animals, can get vaccinated for COVID-19 in the regular way without any extra safety precautions.
Yes, you can safely get vaccinated for COVID-19. The CSACI recommends that you get your SCIT injection and the COVID-19 vaccine on separate days, ideally 72 hours apart, to make it easier to tell what injection may have caused a problem if you have a reaction after getting either of these treatments. Please Note: You may be told when trying to book your vaccination appointment online that you need to wait 28 days between receiving an allergy shot and getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but this is incorrect and is based on a common misunderstanding that allergy shots are a type of “vaccine”, which they are not. As stated above, the CSACI recommends that you get your SCIT injection and the COVID-19 vaccine on separate days, ideally 72 hours apart, but you do not need to wait 28 days.
Yes, you can receive the vaccine if you are receiving a biologic therapy for asthma. In fact, someone with asthma should receive the vaccine to prevent COVID-19, since COVID-19 can result in a severe respiratory tract infection, and all viruses that cause respiratory tract infections could cause a severe worsening of your asthma. The CSACI recommends that you get the COVID-19 vaccine on a different day than your biologic injection, and if possible at least 72 hours apart, to make it easier to tell what injection may have caused a problem if you have a reaction after getting either of these treatments.
Yes, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine, just as we have recommended above for people with food and stinging insect allergy.
Yes, you can be vaccinated for COVID-19. In fact, a recent published case report describes two healthcare workers who were successfully vaccinated for COVID-19 without any difficulty. You may wish to discuss with your healthcare provider whether pretreatment with antihistamines and/or montelukast before being vaccinated will be appropriate for you. Reference: mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is well tolerated in patients with cutaneous and systemic mastocytosis with mast cell activation symptoms and anaphylaxis
You can safely receive any of the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada. Neither chronic urticaria, including chronic spontaneous urticaria and chronic inducible urticaria, or the use of Xolair increases your risk of having a reaction to COVID-19 vaccination. You should continue to take your regularly prescribed medication for chronic idiopathic urticaria. The CSACI recommends that you get the COVID-19 vaccine on a different day than your Xolair injection, and if possible at least 72 hours apart, to make it easier to tell what injection may have caused a problem if you have a reaction after getting either of these treatments.
Yes, you can safely receive a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. In fact, someone who has a weakened immune system (immune deficiency), may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19. Even though your immune system may not respond as well to a COVID-19 vaccine as someone with a healthy immune system, all of the COVID-19 vaccines are safe to use in someone with an immunodeficiency. Someone with an immune deficiency may actually benefit even more from a vaccine for COVID-19 than someone with a healthy immune system, because it may help prevent more severe COVID-19. The CSACI recommends that you not get your vaccine on the same day as your IVIG infusion, and if possible at least 72 hours apart, to make it easier to tell what injection may have caused a problem if you have a reaction after getting either of these treatments.
Yes, you can safely receive a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. In fact, someone who has a weakened immune system (immune deficiency), may be at higher risk for severe COVID-19. Even though your immune system may not respond as well to a COVID-19 vaccine as someone with a healthy immune system, all of the COVID-19 vaccines are safe to use in someone with an immunodeficiency. Someone with an immune deficiency may actually benefit even more from a vaccine for COVID-19 than someone with a healthy immune system, because it may help prevent more severe COVID-19. The CSACI recommends that you not get your vaccine on the same day as your SCIG infusion, and if possible at least 72 hours apart, to make it easier to tell what injection may have caused a problem if you have a reaction after getting either of these treatments.
Yes, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine. GBS is a rare condition where someone’s immune system attacks their nerves and causes weakness and numbness. No one knows exactly why someone gets this condition, but it often starts after a viral illness and it is also possible that some have developed GBS after having COVID-19. If you have had GBS, it is more important to prevent COVID-19 to reduce your risk of becoming very sick with COVID-19. As of February 26, 2021, there have been no reported cases of anyone developing GBS after being vaccinated for COVID-19, and the CSACI agrees with Health Canada and the CDC that anyone who has had GBS can be vaccinated for COVID-19 [see Vaccine Considerations for People with Underlying Medical Conditions].

Last updated: June 9, 2021

This COVID-19 information may vary and will be updated depending upon current situations. As there is yet much to learn about COVID-19, please be advised that the materials and other information provided by this website are for information purposes only and are not intended to replace or constitute the giving of medical advice or treatments.

The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI) intends that the information contained in this site to be accurate. However, errors sometimes occur. Therefore, CSACI disclaims any warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, as to any matter whatsoever relating to this service. In no event shall CSACI be liable for any indirect, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of use of or reliance on any content or materials contained herein.

The CSACI does not assume and it hereby disclaims any and all liability to any person or entity for any claims, damages, liability or loss (including, without limitation, any liability for injury or other damage resulting from any use of or any reliance on this service or from the posting of any content or material by any third party. No use of, reliance on, any materials included in this site shall be deemed to give rise to a physician-patient relationship. No material included in this site shall be deemed to present the only or necessarily the best method or procedure with respect to a matter discussed on this service; rather, any such material shall be acknowledged as only the approach or opinion of the discussant. The users assume all risks of using the materials included in this site.