Health officials in California have stopped vaccinating people with a batch Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine over concerns related to allergic reactions.
According to Fox News affiliate station KSWB-TV in San Diego, “The California Department of Public Health said fewer than 10 people sought medical care after getting vaccines from Moderna Lot 041L20A at Petco Park last week. San Diego County health officials confirmed a half-dozen healthcare workers suffered allergic reactions.”
The California Department of Public Health announced the pause in use of vaccines from the suspect batch in a press release on January 17.
“A higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine administered at one community vaccination clinic,” said California state epidemiologist Erica S. Pan. “Fewer than 10 individuals required medical attention over the span of 24 hours. Out of an extreme abundance of caution and also recognizing the extremely limited supply of vaccine, we are recommending that providers use other available vaccine inventory and pause the administration of vaccines from Moderna Lot 041L20A until the investigation by the CDC, FDA, Moderna and the state is complete.”
The batch of Modena vaccines associated with the adverse reactions has been widely distributed throughout the state, the California Department of Public Health noted. “More than 330,000 doses from this lot have been distributed to 287 providers across the state,” the Department said. “The shipments arrived in California between Jan. 5 and 12. The state has not been notified of any other cluster or individual events related to this lot.”
Despite the pause in use of vaccines from the batch, state officials insist that the vaccine is safe. “While no vaccine or medical procedure is without risk, the risk of a serious adverse reaction is very small,” the state Department of Public Health said. “While less data exists on adverse reactions related to the Moderna vaccine, a similar vaccine shows that the expected rate of anaphylaxis is approximately 1 in 100,000.”
As the mRNA vaccines from both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have entered more widespread distribution and use, scattered reports of adverse reactions have begun to stir concerns.
In the most alarming case, in Miami, 56-year-old Dr. Gregory Michael died 16 days after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. In the U.K., the Daily Mail said that it had interviewed Heidi Neckelmann, the wife of the deceased doctor. She told the paper that “her husband, who she described as ‘very healthy’ suffered a brain hemorrhage ‘due to a strong reaction’ to the shot.”
Pfizer, which is reportedly investigating Dr. Michael’s death along with the CDC, told the New York Times, according to the Daily Mail, that “There have been no related safety signals identified in our clinical trials [or] the post-marketing experience thus far.”
Other deaths have been attributed to the vaccines as well. According to Bloomberg, in Norway 29 deaths have been associated with the Pfizer vaccine. “Until Friday, the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech SE was the only one available in Norway, and ‘all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine,’ the Norwegian Medicines Agency said,” according to Bloomberg. The Norwegian agency also said that the deaths have been in “elderly people with serious basic disorders.”
Most others with reactions, the Norwegian Medicines Agency admitted, “experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”
Meanwhile, in the United States, the Epoch Times reported on January 16, that “55 people have died in the US after receiving COVID-19 vaccines.”
Investigations into the adverse reactions are ongoing, and health officials note that, especially in the elderly with underlying conditions, deaths will occur in some patients after the vaccine has been administered simply because of their underlying health conditions and not because of the vaccine.
According to the Norwegian Medicines Agency, “When vaccinating the oldest and sickest, it is expected that deaths will occur in a time-related context with vaccination. This does not mean that there is a causal link between vaccination and death.”