COVID-19, Food Allergy, and OIT

Food allergy families have many unique questions regarding COVID-19. If you have a specific medical question, please reach out to our team. 

COVID Infection and Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) Dosing

If I have COVID, do I continue taking my daily dose?

If you have only mild symptoms and no fever (<100 degrees), please take a half-dose for 3-4 days before resuming a full dose as you would during other common illnesses. If you develop a fever (>100 degrees) or are experiencing severe symptoms such as vomiting, wheezing, please skip your dose. If you need to skip your dose for 1-2 days due to symptoms or fever, take a half-dose at home for 3-4 days before resuming a full dose. If you skip 3 days or more, please call the clinic for guidance.

COVID Vaccine and Food Allergy

I/my child has food allergies. I’ve heard the risk of allergic reaction is higher if you have food allergies, is it safe to get the COVID vaccine?

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna m-RNA-based COVID-19 vaccines for young children. Both vaccines triggered antibody immune responses comparable to those measured in earlier COVID-19 vaccine trials of adults, despite containing lower doses of the vaccine. Each vaccine is very safe and effective for children 6 months older and adults. As for the risk for reaction, the risk is actually quite low. Compared to the risks of contracting Covid-19 and becoming very ill, the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risk of reaction. Most likely, you/your child will be asked to wait 30 min after the vaccine rather than 15 min to monitor for a reaction. It is common to develop expected side effects from the vaccine, such as sore arm, muscle aches, headache, chills, but this is not experienced by everyone and it tends to be better tolerated in younger age groups. 

Possible Side Effects

In the arm where you got the shot:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • These side effects usually start within a day or two of getting the vaccine. Side effects might affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Your child should NOT get the vaccine if any of the below apply:

  • If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction, even if it was not severe: 
    • to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (such as polyethylene glycol), you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.*
    • or after getting the first dose of the vaccine, you should not get a second dose of either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.
  • An allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or if they must go to the hospital. Learn about common side effects of COVID-19 vaccines and when to call a doctor.
  • An immediate allergic reaction means a reaction within 4 hours of getting vaccinated, including symptoms such as hives, swelling, or wheezing (respiratory distress).

COVID Vaccine and OIT

I/my child is being treated with OIT. Is it safe to get the COVID vaccine? What do I do about taking a daily dose?

Just like with any vaccine, we recommend either dosing before the vaccine, or skipping that day entirely. Either way, you/your child should not have a dose for 24 hrs following the vaccine. 

As you know, some patients develop flu-like symptoms after certain vaccines including the COVID vaccine. If this is the case for you/your child, you may half-dose for a couple days until you/your child feels better.

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