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UW to study COVID-19 vaccine allergies, needs volunteers

The study tests reactions in those considered “highly allergic,” UW Health explained.
Dr. Jeff Pothof receives the 1st COVID-19 vaccine in a clinical trial at UW-Health.
Dr. Jeff Pothof receives the 1st COVID-19 vaccine in a clinical trial at UW-Health.(UW Health)
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 10:31 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health launched a new study to determine if the mRNA versions of the COVID-19 vaccine, the ones produced by Pfizer and Moderna, pose an extra risk for those considered “highly allergic.”

Allergist Dr. Mark Moss, who leads the study, noted that allergic reactions from the vaccine are rare and for the most part occurred in people with a history of allergies, saying “it’s critically important for us to better understand who is having negative reactions to the vaccines and why.”

Researchers are now looking for volunteers who have already been diagnosed as “highly allergic,” meaning they have had an anaphylactic reaction within the past 15 years, be allergic to a medication, or have a mast cell disorder. Participants will need to get two vaccine doses approximately three weeks apart, the health system explained. One in three people will get the placebo before getting their first dose, which will require them to make a third visit.

Only those who have not been vaccinated are eligible, the health system notes. They must be 12 years old or older and anyone between 12 and 17 years old will need written permission from a parent or guardian.

Eligible participants will also need to meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Have a history of severe allergies, or;
  2. Have an allergy to a medication, or;
  3. Have been diagnosed with a mast cell disorder, or;
  4. Have no known history of severe allergies, or;
  5. Have no known history of severe allergies. Those individuals will serve as the control group.

Anyone looking to participate is asked to call the UW Allergy Research team at 608-263-6049.

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