Contraindications and cautions summary for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Helen Davis, UKMi, Director, North West Medicines Information CentrePublished Last updated See all updates

Specific information for Pfizer-BioNTech and signposting to general guidance on contraindications and cautions information common to all COVID-19 vaccines

Contraindications to the vaccine

Manufacturer’s information

The manufacturer’s information for healthcare professionals states hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients as a contraindication for use.  Excipients are listed in section 6.1 of the manufacturer’s information.

MHRA advice

Previously, the MHRA advised that people who had a history of anaphylaxis to vaccines, drugs or food should not receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination.  However, this advice changed on 31st December. Such individuals can now have the vaccine, unless they are hypersensitive to vaccine itself or any of its ingredients, as outlined in the manufacturer’s information. A summary of the reasons why the MHRA advice changed is available.

Cautions with concomitant conditions or medicines

Advice may be specific to this vaccine or common across all vaccines. Our articles covering topics in this area relevant to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine are listed and summarised below by theme.

Allergy

Contraindications and cautions summary for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

1 January 1970Specific information for Pfizer-BioNTech and signposting to general guidance on contraindications and cautions information common to all COVID-19 vaccines

Advising individuals with allergies on their suitability for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

7 January 2021Advice on whether people with a previous allergic reaction can have the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Advising individuals with religious or other dietary practices and beliefs on their suitability for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

15 December 2020Advice on whether people with religious or other dietary practices can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

Anticoagulant use and bleeding disorders

Using COVID-19 vaccines in patients with anticoagulation and bleeding disorders

7 January 2021Information on use of the vaccine in patients who are receiving anticoagulants or have a bleeding disorder is given below.

Infection and febrile illness

Using COVID-19 vaccines in individuals with acute severe febrile illness

8 January 2021Advice on using COVID-19 vaccines in individuals with acute severe febrile illness

Vaccinating individuals with COVID-19 or with a history of COVID-19

31 December 2020Certain groups can be vaccinated where they have already had COVID-19. In some circumstances these individuals may required a COVD-19 test.

Immunosuppressive medicines

Using COVID-19 vaccines in patient taking immunosuppressive medicines

22 January 2021National advice and considerations on the use of this vaccine in patients taking immunosuppressive medicines

Surgery - recent or imminent

Using COVID-19 Vaccines in people with recent or imminent elective surgery

24 December 2020Information to support decision making around timing of COVID-19 vaccine administration in relation to surgery

Change history

  1. Link to document outlining reasons for MHRA change in advice relating to contraindications to the vaccine.

  2. Published