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California pauses administration of Moderna vaccine batch after allergic reactions

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Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(KION) A California epidemiologist is recommending providers pause the administration of a batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines due to possible allergic reactions.

The California Department of Public Health announced the news Sunday in a press release.

In a statement, Dr. Erica Pan said "a higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine administered at one community vaccination clinic."

Pan said fewer than 10 individuals required medical attention over the span of 24 hours.

This bump in the vaccine rollout comes after state leaders pushed for a faster vaccine rollout.

“It adds more pressure to our already contained vaccine supply, that’s been the biggest issue, especially when the 65 and over age group was announced last week,” Santa Cruz Deputy Health Officer Dr. David Ghilarducci said.

CDPH said more than 330,000 doses of Moderna Lot 041L20A, which arrived in California between January 5 and 12, have been distributed to 287 providers across the state.

We reached out to Central Coast health care providers and county health departments to find out if they, too, got vaccines from that impacted shipment.

Santa Cruz County has 5,300 doses from that impacted lot which are now on hold, according to Spokesperson Jason Hoppin.

“That’s a significant of our reserve that we had been planning to use this week so that will slow down some of our vaccination efforts unfortunately,” Dr. Ghillarducci said.

Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital tells us they received 1,400 doses and have not administered any of the vaccine from the lot.

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula received 2,800 doses. The hospital tells us they received 1,220 doses of the lot in question during a county health clinic last week, but no serious side effects were reported.

Natividad in Salinas received some of the impacted doses as well, but have not administered them.

Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz also administered doses of the batch, but no significant reactions there. They have since paused all administration of this batch.

Dr. Ghilarducci said rare allergic reactions happen with all vaccines and he wants to reassure public that the vaccine is safe.

“We still recommend it. I would still take it. The rare allergic reactions that do occur are easily treatable and in most cases, these allergic reactions only happen in people that have a history of allergic reactions where they might need an epipen,” Ghilarducci said.

Watsonville Community Hospital and Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital tell us they did not receive any doses from this batch.

Ghilarducci says once Santa Cruz County gets the green light, they will start using the vaccine again, unless they have to replace it.

The severe allergic reactions are still under investigation. CDPH expects to learn more this week.

Mee Memorial would not provide comment on if their Moderna doses were impacted.

For more information from the CDC on how to recognize anaphylaxis after COVID-19 vaccination, visit the website here.

California News / Central Coast / Coronavirus / Health / Top Stories
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Elisha Machado

Elisha Machado is a weekend anchor and multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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