Some receipts for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine have developed a delayed skin reaction to the prick days after receiving it, several doctors wrote in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week.
In the letter, the doctors detailed 12 cases of late skin reactions that appeared between four and 11 days after the first dose of Moderna, averaging eight days. About half of the patients also developed a skin reaction after the second dose, although it was less severe.
Most were treated with antihistamines and ice, but some patients required steroid treatments that were prescribed topically or as a pill. Most of the skin rashes resolved after four to five days.
The rashes were harmless but could be mistaken for an infection, resulting in the unnecessary use of antibiotics in at least one patient who developed this reaction, they wrote in the letter.
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“Clinicians may not be prepared to address late local reactions to the mRNA-1273 vaccine. Given the expansion of mass vaccination campaigns around the world, these reactions are likely to raise concerns among patients and requests for evaluation. These reactions have not been consistently recognized, the guidance regarding the second dose of vaccine has varied, and many patients have received antibiotic agents unnecessarily, “they wrote. “We hope that this letter will encourage further reporting and communication on the epidemiologic features, causes, and implications of these late skin reactions, as this information could allay patient concerns, encourage completion of vaccination, and minimize unnecessary use of antibiotics “.
Late skin reactions were seen in Moderna’s large clinical trial of their vaccine, occurring in less than 1% of receipts after the first dose and only 0.2% after receiving the second dose.
Doctors noted that everyone who received the vaccine went on to receive the second dose.
“Since neither local injection site reactions nor delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions are contraindications to subsequent vaccination, all 12 patients were encouraged to receive the second dose and completed their cycle of mRNA-1273 vaccination.” they wrote.
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Speaking to Bloomberg, Kimberly Blumenthal, lead author of the article and co-director of the clinical epidemiology program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, urged those who may experience a delayed skin reaction after the first dose to make sure they receive the second, as this specific reaction is not a danger, he said.
“Our goal was to show how dramatic they can be, while at the same time nobody has had it more severe with dose 2,” he said. “A lot of the patients I cared for with this were worried about them. Is this an infection? (No!) Does this mean I can’t have dose 2? (No!) Will it happen with dose 2? ( Not necessarily!), “She said.
“This is a nuisance, but it is not dangerous,” added Blumenthal.