Can I get the COVID vaccine as I have a food allergy?

Q. I have an allergy to mosquito bites and certain foods. Is it safe to take the COVID vaccine?

Answered by
Dr. Jebin Abraham
and medically reviewed by Dr. Chithranjali Ravichandran
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 16, 2021 and last reviewed on: May 24, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am a 48-year-old female. My height is 5'3, and my weight is 119.05 pounds. My symptoms are hives, itchiness, and sleeplessness. I used Zyrtec and Aquasoft moisturizing lotion. After a mosquito bite, hives are formed, and now without mosquito bites, also I had hives and itchiness. I started to have these symptoms for the last three weeks. After consuming Zyrtec, the symptoms stopped, and after 2 or 3 days, symptoms reappeared.



Welcome to

Thanks for contacting us.

Hives can be triggered by a variety of insults. A detailed history and check-up will be needed to find out the exact cause of the same. Apart from mosquito bites, food, clothes, other insects, etc., can cause hives. Some medicines can also cause hives. If it is not subsiding in four weeks, I suggest you undergo an expert evaluation. Till then, you can continue Zyrtec 10 mg 0-0-1 for four weeks, then 0-0-1/2 for four weeks, then alternate days and stop. Avoid sudden stopping. Continue skin lotion also. You can also do CBC (complete blood count), ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), AEC (absolute eosinophil count), Total IgE, TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), etc.

Hello doctor,

I am going to take the vaccination. Since I have an allergy to mosquito bites and certain foods, is it safe? Now I am taking only half a tablet of Zyrtec once every three days. But if I eat the forbidden foods, allergy does appear, but it is only very mild, unlike earlier. Which one to take, Covaxin or Covishield? Will I develop any symptoms immediately following the vaccination shot? Please go through my attached medical summary.

Kindly advise me.



Welcome back to

Happy to see you back here.

As of the latest guidelines, it is not advised to administer any COVID vaccine to people suffering from prior drug allergy or food allergy. Since you have a history of food allergy, it is possible to get a reaction to the COVID vaccine (rare possibility, still). This is just a possibility since you have multiple allergy triggers. We are concerned about the possible immediate severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis. And moreover, when you visit a vaccine booth, they will surely be asking if you have any allergy history so that they can cancel your vaccination schedule.

So, it is better to continue with personal protective measures. I hope I am clear. If you have any doubt, you can message me back.

By the way, Covishield should be a better choice for anyone than Covaxin as per recommendations.

Thank you.

Hi doctor,

I am not actually suffering from anaphylaxis, and I heard asthma patients have also gone through the vaccination shot and are doing fine. Is it really true? I heard that allergy patients had consumed allergy drugs just before the shot and the next day also to avoid a reaction. Are these true? Kindly clear my doubts.

Thank You.



Welcome back to

I know you are not having any anaphylaxis. But unfortunately, this is the current instruction received by the vaccinators. Asthma patients can receive the COVID vaccine. No contraindication. They can receive. But food allergy and drug allergy are not indicated. In my personal opinion, if you are getting vaccinated in a hospital setup, you may receive the vaccine if the concerned doctor in charge is willing to accept the risk. This is my personal view. But usually, the concerned medical officer will follow the government guidelines only. Even if you take allergy tablets, anaphylaxis can occur in a severe allergic response. But simple itching and hives can be prevented. I hope it is clear. You can further contact your concerned medical officer to know what procedure they are following.

Thank you.

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