This video covers everything that I considered when planning to get my vaccine and dealing with salicylate sensitivity with anaphylactic reactions. Includes the steps I took to mitigate risk, or improve my chances of survival if I did have a reaction. I also cover research articles showing that the chance of anaphylaxis in one early study was very low (.001%), as well as another one that was very low in highly-allergenic people.
Research Studies referenced
• https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7002e1.htm – Allergic Reactions Including Anaphylaxis After Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 14–23, 2020, Published January 15, 2021
• https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2783626 – Prevalence of Allergic Reactions After Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccination Among Adults With High Allergy Risk, published August 31, 2021
• https://aacijournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13223-016-0172-7 – Polyethylene glycol as a cause of anaphylaxis, December 2016
Pfizer vaccine was FDA approved permanently on August 23, 2021 – https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/comirnaty-and-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine (link is broken, accessed article on Sept 20, 2021).
COVID Vaccine ingredients
- Nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2
- 2[(polyethylene glycol (PEG))-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide = https://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi/searchId.do?chebiId=46793 Not a salicylate, but still a rare allergy risk
Salts, inorganic, or not comprised of salicylates, benzene rings, or phenols
- Sodium chloride
- Monobasic potassium phosphate
- Potassium chloride
- Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
Provided for visual learners, improved accessibility, and for translating the page
Hello, welcome to Low-Sal-Life. My name is Sarah and today we are going to talk about what I did to lower my risk for having a reaction or if I got a reaction to the COVID vaccine. So, welcome to my channel, if you’re new here, we talk about anything related to salicylate sensitivity. So, that is anything that is basically casually known as aspirin allergy, or aspirin sensitivity. It can be found not only in pharmaceuticals, but also in natural compounds such as fruits, vegetables, oils, colorants, dyes, perfumes, cleaning products, and the list literally goes on. I know that this might seem like a really like late video to do, especially since I did this in March and April, I am still seeing on the salicylate forums, people asking other salicylate sensitive individuals, if they got the vaccines and how they reacted. And I’m still getting emails and comments about it. So, I thought I might as well just make this video rather than typing out my response to all the individuals. So, this is for you guys. This is just basically my experience of doing the vaccine and what I did to lower my risk. And then also, there have been a few studies that have come out since January about the Pfizer vaccines, specifically, and highly allergenic people. So, I’ll mention those more toward the end of video. I got my vaccine in March and April, I do take care of my dad part-time, like 100%. So, like I’ll go over for a week or so a week to 10 days and take care of him, stay at his house. And my brother and I trade off responsibilities. So, we actually got in kind of early because being a caretaker. So that was helpful. And I also my dad is a social butterfly. So, while I am totally fine being in rural North America and never seeing anybody, ever, I knew that because my dad was visiting with other people, including going to restaurants and large groups and things like that, and not masking. I really felt like my risk was increased greatly because of my interaction with him. So, I decided to get the vaccine, I had the option for both Moderna or Pfizer. And because I’m both in a rural area and a suburban urban area, I could have chosen to maybe two different avenues. My dad and my brother got their Moderna vaccines from just a drive thru, they went down to the fairgrounds, they drove through their car and got the vaccine. that concerned me quite a bit because I was concerned about what if I have a reaction. And of course, they don’t have salicylate sensitivity. So even though they were family, they weren’t really a good gauge of whether or not it was safe or not. So, I decided to get the vaccine in my rural area. And so, we’re going to talk about what I did to mitigate risks. The options between the Pfizer and Moderna. I couldn’t actually, I didn’t bother looking this up. But generally, I believe that the Pfizer has like fewer snips of the active ingredient than the Moderna. So, I figured if I had the option between the two, that the Pfizer would probably be better since you know it has a little bit less of everything else. So, I didn’t bother looking into that one that was just kind of like hearsay. One of the things that concerned me the most is that my salicylate sensitivity does produce anaphylactic reactions. And I do carry an EpiPen, and it is a severe enough reaction that I feel like my life can be at times in danger. Since this was not a, you know, 1000s of people before me got the Pfizer vaccine, but let’s just face it, it is new vaccine. And, you know, there’s always a risk. So that’s basically why I was most concerned because if I was one of the few individuals that did have an anaphylactic reaction, hmm, you know, what could I do to reduce that? I wasn’t so worried about long term reactions. Generally, if I have milder reactions, it might be like, you know, sore body aches for a day or two, you know, where my muscular dystonia gets kicked off, and I can’t really walk very well, due to really strong muscle contractions. Also, I can have like, you know, stuffy or sniffling nose, I might get some acne, I might get a rash. I might get wooshy ears kind of like a vertigo. So, you all those, I would consider mild because they only last a day or two, maybe up to a week. But really, it’s not life threatening. But because of my anaphylactic reactions, that was a concern.
I also have true allergies besides salicylate sensitivity. So, you know, I have grass allergies, and feather allergies and dust mite allergies and things like that. So, I do have true allergies. So those are reactions to proteins. So, one of the things that I did was I did my appointment in the morning. So, with that way, you know, there’s so many things in day that can increase your salicylate load. So usually, generally, I start off feeling really great in the morning, and then, you know, if I have a little bit of foods that are really not, that are moderately high, or maybe exposed to a medicine, or maybe I get a package in the mail that has like, you know, this kind of smelly, you know, has like a perfume or something on it, you know, those things can increase my load as the day goes. So, I wanted to go in an early on in the day where I generally am feeling way better than compared to toward the end of the day when there could be a lot of different factors that could increase my salicylate load. So that was something that I decided to do. I also a couple of days before I also ate a very, very low, negligible low Sal diet. So, I mostly ate meats with no seasoning at all, you know, no garlic, no, like kind of trying the things in small quantities, eggs, meat, cheese, that’s kind of what I did, because I knew that that would decrease my load. And I’d be starting with a clean slate rather than, you know, kind of being on the edge. Another thing I realized is that salicylates, I kind of treat it like alcohol. I don’t know if you’ve ever had alcohol on empty stomach versus alcohol on a you know, like maybe after having a steak and for meal. You know, it acts differently in your body. And I’ve noticed that that’s the case with salicylates. So, about an hour before my appointment, I did eat a kind of a high protein high fat diet so that my stomach wasn’t empty, but I knew I was also consuming foods that were negligible in sals. So, I didn’t want to, you know, have something coursing through my body without anything in my stomach to cushion it. So that’s just a personal thing that I’ve noticed. I don’t know if that’s the same for you guys. But, you know, leave a note in the comments, if you notice, trying out new foods on empty stomach versus mixed with other foods or even with fats, in particular, if they have a different effect on you. One of my concerns was that I was in a rural area. So, you know, sometimes access to health care isn’t quite the same as access to health care in a city. So, there was a couple things that were good and not good about that. One is, if there’s an emergency and you need access to a city, full blown hospital, you know, that’s a concern. But sometimes in a rural area, you get a lot more attention too, so that’s also really beneficial. So, my town did not have a drive thru vaccination program at all. So it was nice, because I was able to go to the hospital, the local hospital clinic, and actually, you know, have a nurse give me the dose, she had to sit around for 15 minutes to make sure that there were no reactions. And you know that was way better. I will say the last anaphylactic reaction I had, was driving alone on a country road by myself in my vehicle, with the nearest hospital or clinic within 10-15 minutes. So, the fear of going to a drive thru clinic and then getting sick on the way home was not something I wanted a repeat of. And so going to the hospital, sitting there, you know, that was good. I knew when I came home, which was on, you know, a two-minute drive, that, you know, my husband would be here, he’d be able to keep an eye on me through the day. So that made me feel really good. I also wanted to make sure that I got my vaccine during daytime hours, again, rural area, wanted to make sure that there were doctors and emergency staff on site during business hours. And then obviously, if there’s any reason I need to be airlifted to a city hospital, because I got really sick really fast, that that would always be an option too. So, I wanted to make sure that there were things that could help me if an emergency were to happen, as opposed to doing a drive through vaccine clinic at you know, 5:30 on a Friday, right. That just sounded really bad to me. Some of my worst reactions have been when I’ve been overheated or I have been exercising. So, while the clinic is only about a seven-minute walk I think it’s only like four to six blocks, maybe I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t kind of elevated either in temperature or up by exercising. Because I mean, I’ve had such bad reactions before just to running or things like that. So, I wanted to make sure that I kept my body cool and very calm. And so, I drove even though it seems like a sin to drive seven or eight blocks, I wanted to make sure that I kept my body temperature and reactions down.
So that was just something I decided to do. Sounds terrible, but I think it really might have gone a long way. I also took a Benadryl, maybe about half an hour before. Now that I’m saying that out loud, Benadryl and driving isn’t the greatest thing. Of course, I only drove like 20 miles an hour, right? Again, very rural area. I didn’t see any other cars that day. So that’s good. But basically, I took it, an anti-histamine beforehand, I’ve read mixed comments whether or not a Benadryl before or, you know, some kind of anti-histamine before you take the vaccine is good or not good. But again, when it comes to life, or death, and you fear death, you know, maybe it’s not really that bad. So, I decided to take a benedryl, I also made sure that on the intake form that they knew I had an epi pen, in case they needed to use it. And I keep my epi pen in a very brightly colored bag inside of my purse to is really easy to find it’s got like a little cross as bright red or orange. And it’s really easy to get to, sometimes in emergency situations, you know, like, if medical staff has to find a doctor or in order to get you know, in contact the pharmacy to get an epi pen, and all that, you know, that could take 5-10 minutes, if you have it with you on site, you know, that’s going to save you a lot of time. So that’s basically what I did to mitigate my risk, how to reduce the chance of me actually having a reaction. And then of course, if I were to have an anaphylactic reaction, you know, what could I have done to, you know, have the best outcome in the worst situation. And I think that that really is one of the biggest things about dealing with salicylate sensitivity, there’s so much that we can’t control. But you know, what can we do to reduce our risk? And even when I think about like our low Salicylate lists, right. The way I’ve organized my list, my food list, it’s really about risk, what has the least amount of risk and what has the most amount of risk or the most variable results that could result in risk. So that’s just something to think about going forward. Okay, so let’s talk real quick about reactions. I actually didn’t have much reaction, the first vaccine was really mellow, I think I might have had a couple of like two or three sniffles the next day, and that was about it. After my second dose, and again, those are supposed to be the more intense reactions, those were fine. I mean, the next day, I had a mild headache. And I remember sniffling quite a bit the next day where I wouldn’t normally do that, unless, of course, I had something with high Sals, but it was just sniffles. A headache, no body aches, no allergic reactions, nothing that I would consider intense. And so that was really great. Okay, so a couple of things.
Like I mentioned, I did look through the ingredients, and I thought maybe I might share what some of the ingredients are on here. Obviously, there’s the active ingredient, which is the mRNA, or the proteins snips that actually prevent, you know, have your body make the antibodies, and that actually recognizes COVID as COVID. So, it effective but the inactive ingredients is where things you know, are really what we’re most concerned about, at least for salicylate sensitivity. So, the first couple, I’m going to just put them on the on the screen the names. These four ingredients are all lipids or fats. They are not salicylates, but there is one ingredient in here that people might react to, the polyethylene glycol, this one is probably the biggest cause for reaction or at least the Allergy Asthma organizations have recognized polyethylene glycol as being a cause for anaphylaxis, both in the vaccines and also just as normal exposure. The other ingredients sodium chloride, monobasic, potassium phosphate, potassium chloride dibasic sodium phosphate, dihydrate and sucrose. None of these are salicylates at all. So, Sucrose is a sugar. These are not at all, anything close to a salicylate.
So those should all be considered safe, for salt and potassium chloride is also just a salt. I do want to say in case you stopped following any Vaccine Information, the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the FDA on August 23. So just last week, and this is not an emergency approval, this is a permanent approval, and they also came up with a terrible name. But what are you going to do? Comirnaty – Anyway. Yeah, I am sure that that name is not going to take off.
Okay. So now let’s talk about the chances of anaphylaxis, which ultimately is the biggest concern. There was a study when they were initially testing to see if it was safe or not. There was a study done and they tested from December 14 to December 23. And there were 1.8, just about 1.9 million first doses of the Pfizer vaccine out of those cases, there were 21 cases of anaphylaxis, out of all of those 1.9 million, the 21 cases, that means that there’s 11.1 cases per million people, so very, very, very, very, very small risk. And the reactions, they said out of those 21 cases, 71% of them occurred within the first 15 minutes. Again, my concern about going through a car vaccination program, I want to be at a hospital or a clinic, if I think that, that I have a high risk of having an allergy. There was another study that came out on August 21. And this was a study with 8,102 individuals with allergies that thought that they were at a high risk for allergies. Out of that they picked 429 individuals, which they thought were at a high risk for actually having an anaphylactic reaction. So this is 8000 people that thought that they were at high risk out of those 8,000. They whittled it down to 429 individuals that they really truly thought were at a high risk. So, when they did their vaccines, six of them. So, 1% had a mild allergic reaction. So, it varied from anything including rashes, it sounded like was the big one. And 3.7% had an anaphylactic reaction. So, this is, you know, out of quite a large group, people that were already at a high risk out of the high-risk group 0.7% had an anaphylactic reaction. So just kind of think about like the broad, broad scope. So even if you feel like you might have, it might be at a higher risk for anaphylaxis. Even out of that high-risk group, 0.7% had reactions. So just something to think about.
I’ll put all these links, of course, in the description. And also, I kind of write up like a blog report with all the links and references for these videos. So, check them out, you can find me on low-sal-life.com and I am on Instagram, I’ll be doing a little bit more over the next few months. I’ve definitely been enjoying the warm and dry weather and working on House projects. So, thank you so much for the comments. Thank you to the new subscribers. If you find this content valuable and you don’t want to miss my next video, which may be in a week or maybe in like three months. You might want to subscribe, hit that little bell. That way you don’t miss anything when I do produce content and I hope that this video was helpful. Thanks so much for watching and good luck with whatever decision is assigned to you. I wish you the very best.