Is it safe to take allergy medications while getting vaccinated for COVID-19? UVA doctor explains

Blowing Her Nose - sneezing - allergies
Posted at 5:32 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 17:32:25-04

NORFOLK, Va. - It's allergy season, and those who suffer take medication almost daily to stop all the sniffling and sneezing. But is it safe to take those meds while getting vaccinated for COVID-19?

News 3 This Morning anchor Jessica Larché is getting answers from infectious disease expert Dr. William Petri from the University of Virginia.

We asked Dr. Petri if it’s advisable for people who suffer from seasonal allergies to continue taking their allergy medication while getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Petri says it’s “perfectly fine.”

“You know, whether it's an inhaler or a skin cream or oral, anti-histamines - all of those are fine to use. There's no risk of any side effects, and it's not going to affect the vaccine response, and so [it’s a] totally safe, sensible thing to do,” he said.

Even if they don’t have seasonal allergies, people may have the thought to preemptively take Benadryl or some type of anti-histamine before they get the vaccine to minimize side effects. We asked Dr. Petri if that’s a good idea.

“I think that that's probably not a good idea because one of the reasons that you wait for 15 minutes after you get your vaccine is to look to see are you going to have any side effects? And I'd be a little bit worried if you took an anti-histamine like Benadryl, that that might mask some of the side effects and then you might get home and then, you know, have issues,” Dr. Petri explained. “So, probably better not to take them prophylactically as you're saying. But of course, if you have seasonal allergies, you're on them. Anyway, don't stop taking them.”

Click here for our full COVID vaccination guide.