Can you get the coronavirus vaccine if you have seasonal allergies?

Man blowing his nose - covid vaccine allergies
Photo via Marco Verch Professional Photographer/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
  • This story is regularly updated for relevance. Last updated: June 24, 2021

Those with seasonal allergies can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Several serious allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine have caused people to question whether they should get the vaccine themselves—particularly if they have allergies to things like seasonal pollen, which triggers hay fever. The materials used to develop the vaccine are taken from the virus itself, however, and are not plant or pollen-based.

Those with seasonal allergies are not expected to suffer any adverse allergic reactions from the COVID vaccine, even though it appears allergy season is actually getting longer because of climate change. Unless, that is, somebody is allergic to an ingredient in the actual vaccine.

Other common types of allergies that should have no adverse reaction to the vaccination include allergies to foods, animals and insects, latex, and even other vaccines. If you’ve had a non-serious reaction to an injection, with the exception of anaphylaxis, STAT News reports there is no reason to avoid the COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have had a serious anaphylactic reaction to an injection, however, experts advise caution. If you receive the first dose and experience a severe reaction, consult with a healthcare professional. They may advise you not to get the booster shot. There are also split opinions on whether one should take an allergy pill the same day as getting the vaccine.

The CDC has several safeguards in place to monitor for adverse reactions. Its website states that all recipients should be monitored by providers for a minimum of 15 minutes after injection. Those with a history of allergic reactions should be monitored for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Providers are also advised to have ample supplies on hand to treat severe reactions, including plenty of epinephrine, antihistamines, stethoscopes, and blood pressure cuffs. They are also urged to maintain the ability to provide rapid care and call for emergency services. 

There are still side effects that can be expected by all recipients of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Both vaccines, which have received emergency use authorizations from the Food and Drug Administration, have numerous side effects associated with them. These include soreness at the point of injection, fatigue, fever, chills, and headache.

Meanwhile, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been approved again for use in the U.S., though there are still isolated instances of blood clotting. That vaccine, though, might be harder to find, as it’s given up major ground to Pfizer and Moderna.

Read more on the coronavirus vaccines:

Sources: STAT News, CDC, Healthline, FDA

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