OHA recommends continued use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

State health officials in Oregon recommend that local vaccination sites continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna Lot 041L20A, after the state’s immunization program received advice from federal officials to continue to dispense the doses. Moderna Lot 041L20A has been associated with six adverse events at a single site in California. On Jan. 19, medical experts from the Western States Scientific Safety Review Committee evaluated the reports and are expected to follow up with an announcement of their analysis later today, reaffirming the CDC recommendations to continue to administer doses from this Moderna lot of vaccine.  

This vaccine lot consists of approximately one million doses of vaccines. In Oregon, 57,400 doses of Moderna Lot 041L20A have been distributed to 118 vaccination sites, including in Malheur County. As of Jan. 20, Oregon vaccination sites had administered 30,803 doses from the lot.

The Malheur County Health Department administered 104 doses of vaccine from Moderna Lot 041L20A during a vaccine POD (point of distribution) at the Ontario Municipal Airport firehouse on Jan. 13. There were no adverse events at the time of distribution, according to Erika Harmon, MCHD public information officer. Today’s vaccine POD is distributing doses from a different Moderna lot.

Oregon continues to monitor adverse events following administration of all COVID-19 vaccinations and is currently investigating two adverse events at separate sites linked to Moderna Lot 041L20A. All individuals reported to the Oregon Health Authority who experienced adverse events have recovered. Providers are required to submit reports of adverse events following vaccine administration to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS https://vaers.hhs.gov/).

“Adverse reactions to vaccines are extremely rare, but we’re paying close attention when they do occur. At this time, there’s no evidence that these events have been associated with any other vaccine site and I encourage every eligible Oregonian to get a vaccine as soon as vaccination is available to you.”

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer for Oregon

OHA received a communication from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which stated: “CDC is aware of a situation in California in which multiple potential adverse events were reported after vaccination with a specific lot of Moderna vaccine (Moderna Lot 041L20A) at one community vaccination clinic. We are working closely with the California Department of Public Health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Moderna to investigate these potential adverse events. At this time CDC does NOT recommend health departments stop administering this lot or any lot of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.”

OHA encourages local vaccine administration sites to share information about lot numbers in response to questions from patients. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Committee will continue to monitor further reports and will consider any additional guidance states receive from the federal government.

Oregon health officials reiterated their expectations that local vaccination sites monitor patients for 15 minutes after vaccination, or 30 minutes in persons with a history of an immediate allergic reaction of any severity to a vaccine or injectable therapy and persons with a history of anaphylaxis due to any cause, and have supplies on hand to respond to any adverse events.

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer for Oregon said: “Vaccines, along with wearing masks and limiting indoor gatherings, are the safest, most effective and most reliable ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Adverse reactions to vaccines are extremely rare, but we’re paying close attention when they do occur. At this time, there’s no evidence that these events have been associated with any other vaccine site and I encourage every eligible Oregonian to get a vaccine as soon as vaccination is available to you.”

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