California mom describes allergic reaction to Moderna vaccine

Cheryl Brennan, a San Diego woman, was one of up to ten people who experienced suspected allergic reactions after getting vaccinated in the previous week.

Although the allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are quite rare, Brennan, who suffers from allergies, experienced uneasiness in her throat followed by high blood pressure, about 20 minutes after receiving the Moderna vaccine. 

“My husband was hesitant at first about getting the shot so I convinced him, since we’re both seniors, that we should go get the shot”, said Cheryl Brennon.

Brennan was one of up to ten people who had suspected allergic reactions after receiving vaccines at Petco Park in the previous week, according to FOX 5. While most people can leave after 15 minutes of receiving the shot, people who suffer from allergies, like Brennan, are asked to stay for 30 minutes for observation. Brennan said she’s allergic to shellfish.

“At 18 minutes, it was like my throat started closing”. “My blood pressure went to 185 over 125, which I guess is pretty life-threatening…They hooked up electrodes. They put ice packs on me. I had four EMTs and four nurses helping me and they brought my blood pressure back down within 45 minutes,” Brennan recalls. 

Dr. William Tseng, who specializes in internal medicine at Kaiser Permanente, said allergic reactions to the vaccine are extremely rare, roughly 1 out of every 100,000. “The most common reactions that people get are reactogenic,” Dr. Tseng said. “They come in, they get very excited, they want to get the vaccine. When they get it, they may have a higher heart rate or higher blood pressure and can feel this nausea sensation…most likely it’s from the anxiety associated with getting the vaccine”.

Despite an allergic reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine, Brennan said she won’t hesitate to get her second dose next month. “I will absolutely, positively go,” she said. “My opinion, if I get COVID, I would probably have a lot worse reactions than just having those issues…And my husband has underlying health conditions, so it’s worth taking that chance.”

Meanwhile, an investigation into the reactions at Petco Park is ongoing and providers statewide have been told to set aside 330,000 Moderna doses associated with the lot. Moderna said in a statement that the company is “unaware of comparable clusters of adverse events from other vaccination centers which may have administered vaccines from the same lot”.




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