Safety of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccination in paediatric patients with a PEG-asparaginase allergy

Nancy Broos, Leiah Brigitha, Annemieke Schuurhof, Heike Röckmann-Helmbach, Wim Tissing, Rob Pieters, Inge van der Sluis, Marieke Stadermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Children treated for a malignancy are at risk to develop serious illness from a COVID-19 infection. Pegylated E.coli asparaginase (PEG-asparaginase) is used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Allergy to this drug is common and both asparaginase and polyethylene glycol (PEG) are identified as possible antigens. The mRNA-based vaccines against COVID-19 contain PEG as a stabilizing component. Methods: We developed a protocol to be able to safely vaccinate children with a PEG-asparaginase allergy. All patients with a history of allergy to PEG-asparaginase have been included and skin prick testing for various PEGs was performed before vaccination with the mRNA Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Results: Twelve children between six and 16 years old were vaccinated, without allergic reaction. None of them got a positive skin prick test for PEG. Ten patients had pre-existing IgG or IgM antibodies against PEG. Conclusion: Children with a PEG-asparaginase allergy can be safely vaccinated against COVID-19 with mRNA vaccines containing PEG irrespective of IgG/IgM antibodies to PEG-asparaginase. Routine skin prick testing in patients with PEG-asparaginase allergy does not seem to be of added value.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100002
JournalEJC Pediatric Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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