IMSS worker presented severe reactions after receiving vaccine against COVID-19: “It is an expected event”

Dr. Manuel Cervantes Ocampo, first level comprehensive health care coordinator, reported on the first person with severe reactions after applying the first dose of the vaccine created by Pfizer and BioNTech (Photo: Screenshot)
Dr. Manuel Cervantes Ocampo, first level comprehensive health care coordinator, reported on the first person with severe reactions after applying the first dose of the vaccine created by Pfizer and BioNTech (Photo: Screenshot)

In a press conference offered by authorities of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), Dr. Manuel Cervantes Ocampo, coordinator of comprehensive health care at the first level, reported on the first person with severe reactions after the first dose of the vaccine created by Pfizer and BioNTech. The worker had a severe headache, dizziness, and difficulty breathing and passing food.

According to the statements of Cervantes Ocampo, within the framework of the presentation of the advance in vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the woman presented symptoms four hours after being inoculated. Although the symptoms were severe, they could be treated with the application of an antihistamine to stop the allergic reaction.

“In the case of our colleague, who I cannot give more information due to confidentiality, He had a severe headache, dizziness, and difficulty breathing and passing food. That is an expected event, which was handled in a timely manner. Let us remember that in each vaccination site we have a waiting room where we are observing them 30 minutes before they go back to their homes or to their work centers, ”he said during his speech.

(Photo: Courtesy of the Presidency)
(Photo: Courtesy of the Presidency)

Until noon on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, the IMSS has reported the vaccination of 7,728 workers of the institution. Of the total, 22 have had mild reactions such as headache, dizziness and palpitations. Similarly, only one person with severe reactions after receiving the dose has been registered, who, in addition to the antihistamine, continued with outpatient follow-up.

According to recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA, for its acronym in English), Allergy needs to be made known to staff before receiving Pfizer and BioNTech antidote. It applies in the same way if you have fever, bleeding disorders or anticoagulant treatment, immunosuppression, pregnancy or its planning, as well as if you are breastfeeding or have received another vaccine against COVID-19.

Despite the occurrence of the case, Cervantes Ocampo stressed that it is something expected. Like all drugs and vaccines in circulation, the antidote to COVID-19 is likely to cause side effects. For his part, Dr. Víctor Hugo Borja Aburto, IMSS Director of Medical Benefits, stated:

“We must remember that they are new vaccines and we are doing active surveillance. Some cases may present these events but it is less than 1%. Of those that we have vaccinated and observed are mild, but it is less than 1%, it is not a cause for alarm. It is only a motive of vigilance to see that things are well and that we can continue like this. “

MEX2783, MEXICO CITY (MEXICO), 12/30/2020.- Photograph dated December 27, 2020 where a health control for the prevention of COVID-19 is observed in Mexico City (Mexico).  One of the biggest fears of the experts for this winter season was the danger that influenza and coronavirus converged, which has not happened at least in Mexico, where only one case of AH1N1 has been presented due in large part to the measures of hygiene and forced confinement.  EFE / José Pazos
MEX2783, MEXICO CITY (MEXICO), 12/30/2020.- Photograph dated December 27, 2020 where a health control for the prevention of COVID-19 is observed in Mexico City (Mexico). One of the biggest fears of the experts for this winter season was the danger that influenza and coronavirus converged, which has not happened at least in Mexico, where only one case of AH1N1 has been presented due in large part to the measures of hygiene and forced confinement. EFE / José Pazos

The vaccination objective set for IMSS staff today includes the application of 2,258 doses in Mexico City and 657 in Coahuila. It is necessary to remember that the complete scheme of the vaccine created by Pfizer and BioNTech consists of two doses. In that way health personnel who have been inoculated so far should receive the second injection in subsequent weeks.

On the other hand, from the beginning of vaccination, the Institute authorities have learned of cases where people have received the dose without belonging to the priority groups. In this sense, Zoé Robledo, general director of the IMSS stated:

“We must ensure that no one skips the line, that there are no gandallas, that there is no influentialism. Some complaints have already arrived and we are investigating them. To be clear: no one other than health personnel attending COVID-19 in the first line should be vaccinated in this first stage”.

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