Worrying vaccine warning after reactions

The Pfizer vaccine has only started being rolled out over the last couple of days, but already authorities have had to issue a worrying warning.

The UK's health regulators now say that anyone with a history of significant allergic reactions should not have the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid jab, after two NHS workers reacted badly to it on Tuesday.

Both workers are fine now, but they both had an  anaphylactoid reaction - which often means a skin rash, breathlessness and sometimes a drop in blood pressure - shortly after taking the new jab. The good news is that there have been no known anaphylaxis reactions, which can be fatal.

Health regulators say both NHS workers have a history of serious allergies and carry adrenaline pens around with them.

Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for the NHS in England, told the BBC that both workers were recovering well and that this type of reaction was "common with new vaccines". He described the warning as a precautionary measure.

Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie said the warning should give the Australian government pause for thought about making the vaccine mandatory.

"There are going to be the unintended consequences," she told Today. "Whether it's the jab might suit a lot of people, you know you will get a handful where it really has some sort of reaction on them and can actually make them quite sick.

"I think we will have to give and take with that. I salute the UK being the first ones to put their hands up and be guinea pigs. I'm concerned about saying no jab no school, that's worrying, throwing that out there in the parents in their face, we still don't know enough about the vaccine and haven't watched it go through."

Thousands of Britons became the first in the Western world to receive the vaccine on Tuesday at the start of the biggest global vaccination drive in more than half a century.

The vaccine, which proved to be 95 percent effective in late-stage clinical trials, is administered in two doses, 21 days apart. Overnight, Canada followed Britain's lead and approved the vaccine.