The U.S. is looking at why several people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine have developed allergic reactions, according to a report.
Alkis Togias, an official with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNBC on Monday that “several hundred people” who have a history of severe allergic reactions will be involved in a study.
“We are a little bit concerned that people who have had a lot of allergies who have had reactions like this to all kinds of things, not just vaccines, may be afraid to get vaccinated now,” Togias, chief of the NIAID’s Allergy, Asthma, and Airway Biology Branch, told the outlet.
“We just don’t want that to happen. We want to find a way for them to get vaccinated,” he added.
Togias’ department will lead the study, which researchers hope to begin in a few weeks, CNBC reported.
While the reactions have been reported by those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, the study also may look at shots made by Moderna, according to the report.
Researchers at the NIAID — an agency within the National Institutes of Health — became interested in the rare phenomenon after reports that a few people developed anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, to Pfizer’s vaccine, Togias said.
Last week, a clinician in Alaska suffered anaphylactic symptoms after receiving the Pfizer inoculation — becoming the third health-care worker in the state to suffer an adverse reaction to it.
It’s unclear why some people have experienced allergic reactions to the two shots, which use messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology – a new approach to vaccines that uses genetic material to spark an immune response, CNBC reported.
US health officials say the jabs are safe, with only 10 percent to 15 percent of volunteers in clinical trials reporting “significantly noticeable” side effects, according to the outlet.
Togias said the study may include people who do not suffer from allergic reactions so researchers can make comparisons.
But before researchers can launch the study, the agency will have to come up with a detailed protocol that will need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, he noted.
After it gets the green light from the FDA, it will then need to be approved by an ethics committee.”Of course, everybody when they hear a study that relates to the vaccine, we try to be sensitive and move fast,” Togias told CNBC. “But it is not something we can design today and start tomorrow.”
Moncef Slaoui, President Trump’s coronavirus vaccine czar, also mentioned the study during an Operation Warp Speed briefing Monday.
“There is now advanced planning for a study in highly allergic individuals in clinical trials to test the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and try to understand the immune mechanisms that are underpinning any reactions,” he said.
This article originally appeared on NYPost.com.