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Coronavirus Vaccine Allergic Reactions: Red Flag or Par for the Course?

By Brian Orelli, PhD - Feb 12, 2021 at 10:44AM

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For now, they're a statistical anomaly.

The coronavirus vaccines have generally been shown to be safe in clinical trials, but some people will inevitably have allergic reactions to the contents of the vaccines from Moderna (MRNA 8.73%) and other companies. In this video from Motley Fool Live, recorded on Jan. 25, Corinne Cardina, bureau chief of healthcare and cannabis, and Fool.com contributor Brian Orelli discuss why investors shouldn't be worried about the small number of events that were bound to happen. 

Corinne Cardina: There has been some news, I think last week in California a handful of people receiving the Moderna vaccine experienced allergic reactions. They have sense resumed the vaccination, but they paused it to do a safety review. They consulted with Moderna. Is this a red flag or is it just par for the course? My other question is it odd to see a handful of people at one vaccination site experience side effects, is this an anomaly?

Brian Orelli: Well, yeah, it's an anomaly, but it's a statistical anomaly and it's going to happen. So if you have a small rate of allergic reactions and that seems reasonable and normal -- they're not non-existent and you're going to see a bell curve where some places you're going to see below the average, a lot of places you're going to see the average, in some other places you going to see an extreme amount above the average and small number of them you're going to see a bell curve. I think that as you increase the number of sites, this was inevitable that you'd find one site that had an unusually large number of allergic reactions.

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