SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Patti Hyde, from the Bayberry neighborhood of Clay, felt nothing but excitement in the 15-minute observation window after her first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.
When she got home, she got itchy hives, which spread to her shoulders, chest and other arm. It was resolved quickly, so when she showed up for her second dose at the New York State Fairgrounds, she didn’t think it would be a big deal to the nurse who asked if she had any reactions.
Hyde recalls, “She went back to talk to somebody and they came back and said, ‘No. We absolutely can’t give it you. Someone will notify you in three days.'”
Three days went by with no phone calls. When NewsChannel 9 interviewed Hyde eight days later, she still hadn’t heard from the State Health Department.
Hyde and her husband didn’t just wait around. He tried to ask for help, by calling the Onondaga County Executive, the Onondaga County Health Department, a vaccine hotline, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and the agency responsible: The State Health Department.
“I got really frustrated today, which is why we’re talking to you. I don’t know what else to do. We’re just lost at this point,” Jeff Hyde tells NewsChannel 9’s Your Stories team.
The New York State Department of Health did respond to NewsChannel 9’s email within the same business day. The spokesperson didn’t explain why the department never called Hyde back, but did have information that would help her.
On this issue, the state refers to CDC guidance, which considers hives with four hours of the shot an allergic reaction. It reads: “If you had an immediate allergic reaction after getting a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get a second shot of that vaccine, even if your allergic reaction was not severe enough to require emergency care.”
The CDC says Hyde should contact her primary care physician who may consult an allergist to determine whether it’s safe for her to get the second Pfizer shot or the Johnson & Johnson brand, which uses different chemistry.
Spokesperson Jeffrey Hammond writes: “New Yorkers who have received a first vaccine dose at any State-operated mass vaccination site and experienced an allergic reaction should consult with a physician about whether it is medically appropriate for them to receive a second dose. If approved by their doctor, these individuals should receive their second dose in a medical setting that is better positioned to provide immediate care in case a significant or severe adverse reaction were to occur. New Yorkers should know that while negative reactions to the vaccine are exceedingly rare, we take them seriously.”
Hammond asked for Hyde’s contact information, and with her permission, it was shared. He says his vaccination team will get in touch with her.