February 6, 2023


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‘Are they going to neglect all about me?’: Woman with ‘PEG’ allergy phone calls for prioritization for Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines both of those include a preservative called polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate, though Johnson & Johnson’s does not. It is a scarce allergy.

PORTLAND, Maine — Three companies have established COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized for emergency use—Pfizer, Moderna, and now Johnson & Johnson. 

Public health and fitness leaders, like Dr. Shah and Dr. Fauci, explained all a few are safe and sound and remarkably helpful. They are urging individuals to choose whichever vaccine they’re provided when it can be their turn.

It’s a sentiment that 71-12 months-outdated Susan Gillmor explained she desperately needs she could observe. 

“I listened to a nationwide CNN reporter say, ‘beggars can not be choosers, you have to just take the very first 1 you can,’ and that just manufactured me much more depressed. It truly is like, but what if we can’t!” 

Gillmor mentioned she was devastated to study she is among the a small group of folks who cannot just take the Pfizer of Moderna vaccines, mainly because of an allergy to polyethylene glycol—known as “PEG” or “P-E-G.”

PEG is a polyether compound—rarely located in vaccines, but found in a lot of medicines and cosmetics, like pores and skin lotions and laxatives.

In accordance to the CDC, Polysorbate is not an component in either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine but is closely linked to PEG, which is in the vaccines. If you might be allergic to that, you must not get an mRNA COVID vaccine. 

According to Dr. James Jarvis with Northern Light Overall health, PEG is applied in the two vaccines to protect it. 

“It is really not element of the vaccine alone,” Jarvis said. “It really is just the preservative agent in the vaccine.”

Whilst PEG allergies are exceptional, he emphasizes the CDC steerage declaring, “Men and women who are allergic to PEG can not receive either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.”

The great news—the newly authorised Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not use PEG.

Nonetheless, there is certainly no indication persons like Susan Gillmor have been flagged– even by her possess medical doctor– to receive a dose. 

Gillmor messaged her primary care medical doctor at Martin’s Point Health on Friday about having on a waitlist for a Johnson & Johnson vaccine. She was explained to Martin’s Position was not preserving a waitlist for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at this time. 

“I am frightened that with the couple J & J vaccines Maine gets, they’re going to forget about all about me. I feel like I hold slipping by the cracks,” Susan said. 

At the condition level– there is at the moment no coordinated system that will allow individuals with certain health care situations to be prioritized for a certain vaccine.

That’s, in portion, due to the fact the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are very very similar. Their one considerable change in terms of age approval. The Moderna vaccine is authorised for those about the age of 18, while the Pfizer vaccine is permitted for all those around the age of 16. 

With this in intellect, there is some precedent for individuals currently being flagged to receive a specific vaccine. 

Dr. Jarvis claimed, “We do have some people today who are in between 16 and 18 who dwell in very long-expression care services for health care explanations, so we have experienced to preferentially get them Pfizer.”

With a new vaccine out there that can be applied by people today with PEG allergies, Gillmore mentioned she needs to make confident her desires, and those people like her, are not missed. 

“Are they likely to ignore all about me? I have been hanging in there and accomplishing nicely, for the most section, this yr, but by some means this has put me more than the edge.” 

The CDC has not returned our ask for for remark on this story.