People who have experienced anaphylactic reactions to vaccines are being urged to wait 30 minutes after receiving their COVID-19 vaccine, after Queensland rapidly shifted its advice.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath urged people who had previously experienced anaphylactic reactions to hold off on getting immunised on Wednesday, after the state reported four anaphylactic reactions.
But the state reverted its advice that evening, urging people who had previously suffered an allergic reaction to vaccines to stay back for 30 minutes, rather than the standard 15.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said official advice remained in place nationally, but rejected suggestions Queensland had undermined confidence in the vaccine by rapidly shifting its advice in a “panic”.
“I would say they were being cautious. There is no criticism from the Commonwealth,” he said.
“We are pleased to see Queensland quickly able to adjust their advice after the TGA did their rapid review and provided the conclusions that the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We were able to solve it in a very short number of hours and provide the comfort and confidence.”
It was revealed there had been 19 allergic reactions to COVID-19 across Australia since the rollout began, most following the Pfizer vaccine.
Mr Hunt said adverse reactions occur with any vaccines but were “not necessarily” caused by the vaccines.
“That is consistent with global projections across all of the different vaccines,” he said.
Deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd said the “vast majority” of allergic reactions occurred within 15 minutes of receiving the jab.
“We expect to get a small number of these reactions occurring these allergic reactions. It’s part of what we know about the vaccines,” he said.
But he said people who had suffered anaphylaxis previously should discuss with their doctor before receiving their second dose, which he said may need to be administered in a hospital.