Public Health Addresses COVID-19 Vaccination Concerns and Case Increases
By edhat staff
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) officials addressed concerns regarding the Moderna vaccine and increasing cases of COVID-19.
California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica S. Pan issued a statement on Sunday recommending providers pause the administration of lot 41L20A of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to possible allergic reactions that are under investigation.
"Our goal is to provide the COVID vaccine safely, swiftly and equitably," said Dr. Pan. "A higher-than-usual number of possible allergic reactions were reported with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine administered at one community vaccination clinic. 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 [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] and [U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)], Moderna and the state is complete. We will provide an update as we learn more."
PHD Deputy Director Paige Batson stated just six out of 330,000 Moderna doses distributed to 287 providers across the state resulted in allergic reactions that did not require hospitalization.
The shipments arrived in California between Jan. 5 and 12 and the state has not been notified of any other cluster or individual events related to this lot.
Batson stated she anticipates the state will clear this lot of the vaccine as the allergic reaction incidents were only linked to one distribution site in Southern California so there's potential it may be something else besides the vaccine.
The state maintains the risk of a serious adverse reaction is very small. While less data exists on adverse reactions related to the Moderna vaccine, a similar vaccine shows that the expected rate of anaphylaxis is approximately 1 in 100,000.
The manufacturer, CDC, and the FDA are reviewing the lot and related medical information.
PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso stated COVID-19 testing positivity remains at 16% with a substantial rise in cases in the past week proving the virus continues to spread.
The department is expecting an increase in reported outbreaks in the workplace due to a new state law requiring reports of three or more positive cases within two weeks. During the first week of January there were 15 reported outbreaks in working environments and 14 outbreaks in congregate settings.
From January 9-15, the majority of infections were due to gatherings with 75% of those who attended a gathering were with family and friends.
On Tuesday, PHD reported 342 new cases and five additional deaths. Three individuals were over 70 years of age with underlying health conditions, and two individuals were 50-69 years of age. Three of the deaths are associated with outbreaks at congregate care facilities. Two individuals resided in Santa Barbara, two were from Santa Maria, and one resided in Goleta.
There are currently 2,465 active cases that include 205 hospitalizations with 49 of those in the intensive care unit (ICU). The county's ICU availability remains at 0%.
More details can be found at https://publichealthsbc.org.