On Sunday night, state officials said those doses should be put in storage after a high number of possible severe allergic reactions were reported at one community vaccination event in San Diego.
According to Kings County Public Health, ARIA Community Health Centers already administered 200 doses from that lot but did not notice any severe allergic reactions.
“The state’s decision to pause administration based on a single report is reflective of the scrutiny these vaccines are under, and the absolute commitment to safety at the state and local level,” Kings County health officials said in a press release.
Health officials in Tulare County also confirm they used some of the 3,500 doses they received, but no one had a bad reaction during the 15 to 30-minute observation window following the shot.
“We did not have any reports of severe reactions and if they were to occur, they are likely to occur in that observation period,” Tulare County HHSA Spokesperson Carrie Monteiro said.
In the letter sent to providers, the state adds there haven’t been any other reported events related to the lot.
While it waits for more direction from the state, Tulare County Public Health will hang on to the doses they haven’t used.
They say the pause shouldn’t affect vaccination clinics they’ve already scheduled for this week, but it could impact others.
“We ask the public to remain patient with us,” Monteiro said. “We want to give out more vaccine but we’re still in a very limited supply, so this lot having to be held may hinder us in getting more clinics scheduled in the weeks to come. However, we hope to act
swiftly and get more vaccine in supply so we don’t have that lull period.”
Mariposa County Health and Human Services Agency received 300 doses from the lot in question.
None have been used-they were to make up most of the supply for a mass vaccination event on Thursday.
But as long as the investigation lasts, they’ll sit in a freezer.
“It may be we’re holding off until the last minute to make a decision,” Mariposa County Health Officer Dr. Eric Sergienko said. “It may be come Wednesday night, we say well we don’t know enough and just postpone it. Again, we’re ready to go either direction on
a short notice, but I’m hoping we can get it cleared before then.”
Despite the concerns, Dr. Sergienko remains confident in the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.
He believes more vaccinations will reduce the strain on Valley hospitals, and will eventually lead to the reopening of the economy and a return to normal life.
“I get excited in flu season if I have a vaccine effectiveness of 55% and this is a 95% effective vaccine, which means that you’ve reduced the chance of you getting a disease that can be debilitating or life-threatening tremendously,” he said.
On Monday afternoon, Merced County Public Health joined the list of Central Valley counties that say they administered some doses from the Moderna lot before hearing from the state.
Like Tulare and Kings Counties, they say there were no reports of severe allergic reactions.
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