Orange County Health Officials Pull Vaccine Lot Due to Possible Side Effects

Orange County Health Officials Pull Vaccine Lot Due to Possible Side Effects
A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Jan. 15, 2021. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Orange County, California, health officials are suspending the use of a Moderna COVID-19 lot following reports of possible adverse side effects.

The move was under the directive of the California Department of Public Health, which recommended that providers stop using lot 041L20A of the vaccine due to an ongoing investigation into possible allergic reactions.

California’s top epidemiologist Dr. Erica S. Pan said fewer than 10 people required medical attention within 24 hours of receiving the vaccine.

“Our goal is to provide the COVID vaccine safely, swiftly and equitably,” Pan said in a press release. “A higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine administered at one community vaccination clinic.

“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 [health authorities] is complete.”

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) said 5,217 individuals in Orange County were vaccinated with the Moderna lot, which has since been suspended. It says it hasn’t received a single report of allergic reactions requiring medical attention from any Moderna vaccinations.

Those who’ve been inoculated can determine whether they received the lot under investigation by referring to their vaccination card. They’re asked to contact their doctors if they had an adverse reaction or feel unwell.

Meanwhile, the HCA and health care providers throughout Orange County are continuing to schedule appointments and distribute vaccines to those who qualify for all tiers of phase 1A.

There are currently more than 250,000 individuals registered on Othena, the platform used by Orange County residents to schedule vaccination appointments.

Michelle Thompson is an editor and reporter based in Orange County, California. Her award-winning work has appeared in numerous major Canadian daily newspapers, as well as multiple U.S. publications.