Investigated Moderna lot cleared for use; local counties desperately need the doses

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – The state epidemiologist who recommended California halt the vaccine distribution of a specific batch of the Moderna lot now says the doses can be used once again.

The distribution was paused after 10 allergic reactions in Southern California, but investigators said they found “no scientific evidence” that doses were unsafe.

“We had further discussions with the County of San Diego Department of Public Health, the FDA, CDC and manufacturer, and found no scientific basis to continue the pause. Providers that paused vaccine administration from Moderna Lot 41L20A can immediately resume,” said Dr. Erica Pan.

The halted distribution came as thousands lined up all over the Central Valley to get the vaccine.

“Here in Tulare County,” said Health and Human Services’ Carrie Monteiro. “Our Health Department received 3,500 vaccine doses of this lot.”

Merced County received 1500 doses from the lot: 150 of those had already been administered. Kings County was sent 300 doses: 200 were already administered.

Mariposa County received 300 doses, but none of them were given to the public.

“It was definitely disappointing news we are ready to use every dose that we can get allocated to us,” said Mariposa County Health and Human Services’ Lizz Darcy.

Darcy says the county had to postpone a mass vaccine distribution as the doses sat on the freezer shelf.

“It was a big chunk,” said Darcy who was referring to the 300 doses the county was sent. “It is over half of what we have in stock right now, so it is a hurdle for us.”

In Kern County, Clinica Sierra Vista had 1,100 doses that sat for several days because of the on-going investigation. However, the facility’s Tim Calahan says he is not worried about people showing up once the vaccinations resume.

“There is uneasiness when something like this happens but I can tell you that with all of the people that I speak with and our providers,” said Calahan. “There is still a lot of demand for this vaccine. Like I said, it is safe and effective and we are ready to go once we get more supply.”

There were no reports of any allergic reactions in any of the Central Valley counties.

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