The roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme is underway, with 91-year-old Margaret Keenan the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech injection at the University Hospital, Coventry.

Since then, medical staff and hospital patients across the UK have been receiving the jab after it was approved for use just a week earlier by US regulators, who confirmed the vaccine to be 95% effective against the Covid-19 coronavirus.

However, concern amongst UK regulators has arisen after two NHS staff members suffered allergic reactions shortly after receiving the vaccine.

Officials have now issued a warning for people with a history of “significant” allergic reactions not to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, for now.

The national medical director for the NHS in England, Professor Stephen Powis, said: “As is common with new vaccines, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) have advised on a precautionary basis that people with a significant history of allergic reactions do not receive this vaccination – after two people with a history of significant allergic reactions responded adversely yesterday.”

In his statement, Professor Powis also said that both staff members were recovering well, and the NHS advised that all trusts involved with the vaccination programme had since been informed.

The workers were given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on the first day of the NHS mass vaccination programme. They developed symptoms of “anaphylactoid reaction” shortly after.

It’s understood both staff members have a significant history of allergic reactions – to the extent they need to carry adrenaline auto-injector pens.

Some 800,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been secured by the UK government, to be administered in the coming weeks.

In total, orders have been placed for 40 million single vaccinations, which is enough for 20 million people since two courses are needed to create the right level of protection.

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