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Vaccination concerns arise as Moderna batch is halted, variant linked to outbreaks

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The rollout of vaccines has put many minds at ease that there is finally a chance of getting some control of the virus. Some concerns still remain, however.

On Sunday California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica S. Pan recommended providers pause the administration of a batch of Moderna vaccines distributed in lot 41L20A after some people in San Diego County experienced acute allergic reactions to the vaccine.

"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. We will provide an update as we learn more," said Dr. Pan.

The amount of people impacted was minute compared to how many people have been vaccinated in the county.

Riverside County confirmed Monday afternoon that the four county-operated COVID-19 vaccination sites will not be impacted by the pause. According to the RUHS-Public Health, officials reviewed the Moderna doses planned for use at the vaccine clinics in Corona, Menifee, Beaumont and Indio and determined they were not part of the impacted lot.

"Riverside County Public Health has checked our cache and has noted that we do not have that lot number," said Brooke Federico, spokesperson for Riverside County.

Federico said they were checking in with their partners to see whether they received the lot.

"We checked the lot number, it’s a different lot number. We have a different Moderna vaccine," said Medical Director of the Eisenhower Health Tennity Emergency Department, Dr. Euthym Contaxis.

A spokesperson for Desert Care Network confirmed to News Channel 3 that out of its hospitals, only the Hi-Desert Medical Center is administering Moderna vaccines. The hospital did not have the lot, according to their spokesperson.

Other concerns have emerged after a more contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus has been linked to more outbreaks in California, including Santa Clara County in the Bay Area.

According to California's Department of Public Health, "In addition to Santa Clara County, the 452R variant has been detected in Humboldt, Lake, Los Angeles, Mono, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, San Francisco, San Bernardino, San Diego and San Luis Obispo counties."

CDPH, Santa Clara County and the University of California San Francisco announced that the variant was increasingly being identified by viral genome sequencing.

"The transmissibility is what’s higher and so it’s easier to get infected from the new strain but people aren’t getting any more sick or there’s not new symptoms," said Dr. Kontaxis.

Dr. Kontaxis said virus mutations are common. However, because this variant could be more contagious, hand-washing, social distancing and safety protocols should be reinforced.

"I just think that people need to be cautious until we get to a really high percentage of immunized people and they need to wear their masks and stay socially distanced," said Dr. Kontaxis.

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Coronavirus / News Headlines / Top Stories

Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019 after living in San Francisco for 6 years. Learn more about Shelby here.

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