Actor George Takei said Sunday afternoon that “there’s still hope” that Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) will experience an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, the first inoculation of which he received over the weekend.
“There are very, very few instances of known allergic reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine, but Marco Rubio has always thought of himself as one in a million so there’s still hope,” tweeted Takei to his 3.2 million Twitter followers.
There are very, very few instances of known allergic reactions to the Covid-19 vaccine, but Marco Rubio has always thought of himself as one in a million so there’s still hope.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 20, 2020
Rubio, the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was offered a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during the first week of distribution as part of a government continuity plan, according to Politico. The Florida senator posted a picture of his COVID-19 inoculation on Twitter and said he was confident in its safety and efficacy.
I know I looked away from the needle
And yes, I know I need a tan
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 19, 2020
As of Friday, the Food and Drug Administration was investigating five reports of serious allergic reactions that occurred in recipients of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine amidst the massive vaccine roll-out, according to Reuters.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, updated Saturday, say that people who have had “severe allergic reactions,” or anaphylaxis, to an ingredient in the COVID-19 vaccine, should not receive that specific vaccine.
More from the CDC:
If you have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or injectable therapies, you should ask your doctor if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor will help you decide if it is safe for you to get vaccinated.
CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications—such as allergies to food, pet, venom, environmental, or latex—may still get vaccinated. People with a history of allergies to oral medications or a family history of severe allergic reactions, or who might have an milder allergy to vaccines (no anaphylaxis)—may also still get vaccinated.
If you have a severe allergic reaction after getting the first shot, you should not get the second shot. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist in allergies and immunology to provide more care or advice.
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics and Evaluation, told reporters “the culprit” for the allergic reactions could be an ingredient in the vaccine called polyethylene glycol (PEG), but he was not certain, reports Reuters.
Key U.S. government officials in other branches have also been offered early COVID-19 vaccinations, although President Donald Trump has said White House officials would only receive them if “specifically necessary.” The president, who recovered from COVID-19 back in October, also said he would take the vaccine at an “appropriate time.”
Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have all received their first inoculations as of this weekend and are slated to receive their follow-up dose three weeks later, just as all others who take the vaccine.