Tai Wa Hou, a clinical director of the Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, has spoken out to clarify concerns about possible adverse reaction to Covid-19 inoculation.
Tai spoke out as Macao’s vaccination rate hovered at just over 51 per cent, a considerable distance from the herd immunity which the Health Bureau is aiming for.
He noted that the only “absolute” contraindication to Covid-19 vaccine is an anaphylactic reaction, meaning the potential vaccinee’s acute allergy to the vaccine or any ingredient of the vaccine, which involves symptoms such as acute generalised hives, throat or tongue swelling, and shortness of breath. “People with this absolute contraindication are unable to have any further Covid-19 jabs permanently,” Tai said.
Tai underlined that a slight skin allergy and an allergy to a certain medicine or material are not contraindications to Covid-19 vaccine. “Even though a person has a serious allergy to a certain medicine or material, there’s no problem for them to have a Covid-19 jab if they clearly know that they are only allergic to a certain medicine or material,” Tai said.
Tai said that those who do not know which medicine or material they are allergic to need to see a dermatologist first for an assessment. In this case, Tai said, the person is able to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as long as the dermatologist concludes that they do not have an allergy to Covid-19 vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine.
Tai said that those who have come down with a slight skin allergy after receiving their first Covid-19 jab are able to have their second jab.
Anaphylaxis – also known as anaphylactic shock or reaction – is an extreme sensitivity to a substance such as a foreign protein or drug, or a severe and rapid systemic allergic reaction to an allergen, causing a constriction of the trachea, preventing breathing.
Tai said that anyone who has been vaccinated against Covid-19 must stay at the inoculation facility for at least 30 minutes, as normally people who could have an anaphylactic reaction will come down with the symptoms within 30 minutes of getting the jab.
Tai noted that despite the fact that the probability of an anaphylactic reaction after being given a Covid-19 jab is very rare – one case per one million Sinopharm doses and up to six cases per one million BioNTech doses, it would be “a very big incident” if an anaphylactic shock occurs. Tai said that no anaphylactic reaction has been reported so far in Macao where around 650,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered.
As of 4 pm yesterday, 649,564 doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been administered to 348,347 people in Macao, comprising 45,087 who had received their first jab and 303,260 who had received their second jab.
Macao’s Covid-19 vaccination rate stood at 51 per cent as of 4 pm yesterday According to the latest demographic statistics, Macao’s population stood at 682,500 at the end of June.
A total of 24 adverse events were reported in the past 24 hours (until 4 pm yesterday). The total number of adverse events since the start of the vaccination drive stood at 2,773, or 0.43 per cent of the total number of jabs, including eight serious cases, reported The Macau Post Daily.