By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Patients who immediately develop itching or hives after receiving their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine may still be able to safely receive a second dose.

Immediate allergic or hypersensitivity reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines are incredibly rare, but when it happens after the first dose of a two-dose regimen, patients are often told to avoid getting their second dose.

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A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that may not be necessary.

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Researchers in New York took two patients who had had itching or hives after their first Moderna vaccine and gave them a second dose as a series of five shots given every 15 minutes, with slowly increasing volumes.

One patient had no symptoms. The other had some itching that resolved without treatment, suggesting that some patients may benefit from being referred to an allergist before being completely denied a second COVID-19 vaccine.

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Dr. Mallika Marshall