A WOMAN from Stourport went into anaphylactic shock after receiving the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

Michelle Janne, 34, who has a history of anaphylaxis to wasp and bee stings, was left struggling to breathe, with a swollen face, hives and a high temperature after getting her first dose of the vaccine at Stourport Health Centre on Saturday (February 27).

The mum-of-one, whose father died from coronavirus last year, was rushed into Worcestershire Royal Hospital on Monday and has now been advised not to have the second dose of the vaccine.

While severe reactions to both the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines are understood to be extremely rare, Michelle wants to raise awareness of the potential side effects and the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, and has paid tribute to the "superb" paramedics who came to her aid.

Michelle said: "I went in to have the vaccine on Saturday because I have asthma. I said to the nurse that I carry an Epipen because I’m allergic to wasps and bees, but they checked with the doctor and came back and said I was okay to have the Pfizer vaccine. I waited half an hour after but nothing happened.

"I went home and after half an hour I went to bed. Normally I wouldn't sleep for this long but I slept for five and a half hours that afternoon.

"I woke up and felt quite groggy but I just thought it must be a side effect of the vaccine. My arm was sore where I'd had the injection but I thought I'll just take some paracetamol and go back to bed and sleep it off.

"I woke up Sunday morning and I was coughing loads and had a temperature of between 38.2 and 39.7.

"As the day went on, I was feeling more and more not with it and decided I'd call the doctor if I still felt bad in the morning.

"I woke up at 6am and I was dripping with sweat, I could hardly form a sentence without taking a breath. I had a prickly rash and my lips were slightly swollen.

"My ex got my seven-year-old daughter to school and I rang the doctors but they said at first it was just the side effects of the vaccine. By the afternoon, it had got even worse so I phoned the doctors again and they said I needed to take my Epipen and call 999."

Michelle was taken into hospital by ambulance and was given drugs to settle her symptoms, had a nebuliser to help her breathe, and was kept in overnight for observation.

Now recovering at home, Michelle said: "I was on the ball enough to phone my doctors when I felt like something was wrong. What if someone else who has never had an anaphylactic shock has a reaction and doesn't know how to deal with this?

"My dad died from coronavirus and would have wanted me to get the vaccine if I got the chance, but people need to be aware, especially if they have a history of anaphylaxis, that this is something to look out for."

Paying tribute to the NHS staff that cared for her, Michelle added: "I want to thank the paramedics who came out to me, the nurses and doctors at Worcester Royal A&E for their superb care and attention, and finally my own GP who has been very supportive."

The Wyre Forest Health Partnership, which runs Stourport Health Centre, told The Shuttle it had delivered roughly 22,000 Covid-19 vaccines and this was the first serious reaction it was aware of.

The roll-out of the Pfizer vaccine was temporarily halted last year for those known to suffer from severe allergic reactions, however, following a review, the UK regulatory body has recommended both the Pfizer and Oxford vaccine are safe to administer to those with food or medicine allergies.

Only those who have a known history of reacting to vaccines in the past are advised to proceed with caution.

A spokesperson from the NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “All vaccination services and centres across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, including vaccination services being delivered at the Stourport Health Centre follow the national guidance, including that of the Public Health England Green Book and Regulation 174 Information for Healthcare Professionals for each vaccine brand, in delivering the Covid-19 vaccine.

“The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards for safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

“All those receiving their vaccine are screened by a Registered Healthcare Professional in advance of receiving the vaccine. Allergic reactions are rare and usually happen within the first few minutes following vaccination. All vaccination staff are trained to deal with any adverse reactions.

“We would encourage anyone to discuss any concerns or issues they’ve had during their vaccine experience with their GP in the first instance or our PALs team.”