Reports of Allergic Reactions to Moderna Vaccine

Grant Boone
January 22, 2021

California chose to hold up the shipment of 330,000 doses earlier this week following a cluster of severe allergic reactions at one clinic that was administering the vaccine.

Erica Pan issued a statement Thursday advising providers they can immediately resume the administration of lot 41L20A of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was temporarily paused on Sunday, Jan. 17, due to possible allergic reactions.

OHA sent out a recommendation to local vaccination sites to continue inoculations with the same Moderna batch, after the CDC said that it did not think the vaccine should be halted.

The previously suspect lot, Moderna 041L20A, represented a week's worth of doses for the state.

At its peak, California receives about 400,000 to 500,000 doses a week but the rollout to administer the vaccine to patients has been slow and could take about four to five months for those 65 and older, Pan said during a state vaccine advisory committee meeting, according to the Sacramento Bee.

After concerns over the vaccine were raised, Moderna, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Food and Drug Administration started undertaking a review of the batch in question. All individuals reported to OHA who experienced adverse events have recovered.

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A release from the Oregon Health Authority said that lot has been associated with six adverse events at a single site in California.

Moderna confirmed a total of 1,272,200 doses were produced in batch number 041L20A, with almost one million doses distributed to approximately 1,700 vaccination sites in 37 states. But none were anaphylaxis or life-threatening reactions, according to the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

"These findings should continue to give Californians confidence that vaccines are safe and effective, and that the systems put in place to ensure vaccine safety are rigorous and science-based", California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan said.

Health officials reiterated that local medical staff should monitor inoculated patients for 15 minutes after vaccination, or 30 minutes for people with a history of immediate allergic reactions.

"Our highest priorities are to ensure that vaccines are safe and effective, and distributed equitably and efficiently", said Dr. Pan.

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