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California halts Moderna vaccine shots over ‘possible severe allergic reaction’

A higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine.

Published: January 18, 2021 9:53am

Updated: January 18, 2021 5:09pm

California health officials have called a pause to administering of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine after several people reportedly had allergic reactions at one clinic.

The officials on Sunday told health care providers across the state to stop using doses from one COVID-19 vaccine lot that arrived from the pharmaceutical company.

The pause affects 330,000 doses of the vaccine that have been distributed to 287 providers, who were instructed to use doses from other available vaccine inventory until an investigation is complete.

"The state has not been notified of any other cluster or individual events related to this lot," officials said.

"A higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine administered at one community vaccination clinic," California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan told KTLA-TV.

She also said the pause was called "out of an abundance of caution," noting that "fewer than 10 individuals required medical attention over the span of 24 hours."

In a news release, state health officials said: "All appeared to be experiencing a possible severe allergic reaction during the standard observation period — a type of adverse event that the CDC reports some people have experienced when receiving a COVID-19 vaccine."

"Providers of the COVID-19 vaccine should continue their routine precautions to recognize and manage allergic reactions and potential adverse events," the statement also reads.

Late last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines regarding allergic reactions.

"CDC has learned of reports that some people have experienced severe allergic reactions — also known as anaphylaxis — after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. As an example, an allergic reaction is considered severe when a person needs to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen or if they must go to the hospital," the agency said.

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