A batch of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that was held back since Sunday has been released for distribution by the California Department of Public Health and Santa Clara County, county leaders announced on Thursday.
The release of the lot 41L20A doses, which were being held after some patients had suspected allergic reactions, will free up 21,800 doses of the vaccine in the county. The approval comes after a "rigorous review" by safety regulators, the county said in a statement. The state released an announcement regarding its findings on Wednesday night.
State health officials convened the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup and worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the San Diego County Public Health Services and Moderna to investigate the possible allergic reactions, which had been reported in San Diego County. The regulators and public health officials found no scientific basis for preventing the administration of the Moderna lot 41L20A vaccine doses, the county said.
Santa Clara County officials have notified local health care systems, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, El Camino Health, and Stanford Health Care, which had the lots on hand, of the release.
"These findings confirm that the systems put in place to ensure vaccine safety are working just as they should," county Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement. "People in Santa Clara County can feel confident that vaccinating our community against COVID-19 will save lives and serve as our path out of the pandemic."
COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. have been fully tested for safety and efficacy. The vaccination program has built-in safeguards, including reporting possible adverse events, which are designed to ensure additional levels of protection for the public, the county said.
The county's website, sccfreevax.org, provides updated information about who is eligible for the vaccine, where it is available and how to make appointments.
"Healthcare systems throughout the county are rapidly scaling their capacity to administer vaccines to the public, but this expansion is dependent on the supply of available vaccines. The County will continue to provide the public with regular updates regarding the availability and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines," county officials said.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.