California says Moderna vaccine safe after briefly halting inoculations

California says Moderna vaccine safe after briefly halting inoculations
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California declared on Wednesday that a batch of the Moderna vaccine is safe after briefly halting inoculations from the shipment of more than 300,000 doses after fewer than 10 people required medical attention.

California State Epidemiologist Erica Pan cleared health providers to “immediately resume” providing vaccines after the California Department of Public Health “found no scientific basis to continue the pause.”

"These findings should continue to give Californians confidence that vaccines are safe and effective, and that the systems put in place to ensure vaccine safety are rigorous and science-based,” Pan said in a statement, adding that she urges “every Californian to get the vaccine when it's their turn."

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The all-clear came days after the state paused administration of doses from the “41L20A” batch out of concerns for “possible allergic reactions.” Pan on Sunday recommended halting the distribution due to “a higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions” at a San Diego community vaccination clinic.

Moderna had announced that it was looking into the batch after the reports of the medical issues.

About 330,000 doses had been sent to almost 300 providers in the state between Jan. 5 and 12. Most of those providers stopped giving out those doses as California, Moderna, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated. 

One of the patients who fell ill last week after her vaccination, Cheryl Brennan, told Fox affiliate KSWB-TV that her throat “started closing” and her blood pressure jumped. But she still plans to get her second dose, citing that COVID-19 would probably be “a lot worse” and her husband having “underlying health conditions.”

California reports ordering more than 4 million doses and administering more than 1.5 million, according to the state health department

California recently expanded its eligibility beyond health care and nursing home workers to people 65 and older.

The state experienced its second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday with 694, but hospitalizations have fallen below 20,000 for the first time since Dec. 27, The Associated Press reported.