19 January 2021 | On Sunday, a batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines that was considered more likely to elicit allergic reactions was administered by Adventist Health and public health personnel in Mendocino County, California.
No severe reactions were recorded to the batch.
“It should be noted, the reactions associated with this bad batch have been allergic reactions, similar to a food allergy or the like, and not a unique kind of reaction associated specifically with vaccines,” stated the Mendocino Voice.
California’s chief epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Pan, warned the same day that a batch of the Moderna vaccine was resulting in more than the usual level of reactions, saying that “out of an extreme abundance of caution,” the vaccine should not be administered. Moderna is investigating the batch, which was considered “paused” rather than canceled due to the scarcity of the vaccine.
The warning did not reach Adventist Health in time to stop vaccinations in Willits, California.
Adventist Health spokesperson, Ceci Winiger, confirmed Adventist Health vaccinated about 300 people (aged 75 and older) in Willits on Sunday with the problematic batch.
She said people were held for 15 minutes after they received the vaccine and that allergic reactions typically occur in the few minutes directly after the vaccine is administered.
Winiger claimed none of the patients displayed allergic symptoms but the Mendocino Voice reported people later spoke up on social media and via contact with the newspaper, claiming symptoms.
The Mendocino Voice said the reactions “mostly appear to be in the range of normal symptoms that occur in the days after receiving the vaccine, as the body’s immune system ramps up.”
Adventist Health posted a statement about the incident on Facebook:
A correction to our previous post: As you may have seen in the news, one lot of the Moderna vaccine was reported to have higher-than-expected allergic reactions immediately after administration or during the time of recommended observation. Fortunately, none of the patients who received the Moderna vaccine during our vaccine clinic yesterday, January 17, at Redwood Medical have adverse reactions. During that clinic, our team followed the specific guidelines for administering COVID-19 vaccines and monitored our patients for at least 15 minutes to ensure their safety. During that time, there were no adverse reactions reported or observed. Out of an abundance of caution, we are reaching out to those patients to check on their well-being. There have not been any complications or severe reactions reported at this time. More than 300,000 doses from this lot were distributed across the state and a very small percentage have experienced complications. Rest assured that we will continue to follow these recommended guidelines to keep everyone safe.