DPH: 'Full steam ahead' in CT as no serious reactions to COVID vaccines reported

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A DPH spokeswoman said Connecticut did not receive any of the Moderna vaccines in the batch that was pulled in California due to complaints of adverse reactions.

A DPH spokeswoman said Connecticut did not receive any of the Moderna vaccines in the batch that was pulled in California due to complaints of adverse reactions.

Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

In California, the use of a large batch of the Moderna COVID vaccine has been suspended following multiple claims of allergic reactions. But Connecticut health authorities said they haven’t seen a glut of adverse reactions to the vaccine and say it’s “full steam ahead.”

“I’m not overly concerned at this point,” said Keith Grant, senior system director of infection prevention at Hartford Healthcare. “We have a very good process in place” for monitoring reactions to the vaccine.

On Sunday, California’s state epidemiologist Erica S. Pan issued a statement, recommending that health care providers suspend the use of lot 41L20A of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine due to possible allergic reactions. According to Pan, “fewer than 10 individuals required medical attention over the span of 24 hours” for the possible reactions, which are under investigation.

“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 CDC, FDA, Moderna and the state is complete,” Pan said in the statement.

Pan said more than 330,000 doses from the batch were distributed to 287 providers across California. The shipments arrived between Jan. 5 and Jan. 12. The reactions were all linked to shots given at the same vaccination clinic. The state has not been notified of any other cluster or individual events related to this batch.

In its own statement, Moderna confirmed that a total of 1,272,200 doses were produced in the affected lot, with nearly 1 million doses (964,900) already distributed to approximately 1,700 vaccination sites in 37 states. Moderna didn’t list the states that had received the doses, but it doesn’t appear that Connecticut received any of the affected lot, said state Department of Public Health spokeswoman Maura Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t notified DPH that Connecticut received any doses from the lot. To her knowledge, Fitzgerald said there have been no serious reactions in Connecticut to either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccines.

“We have not seen that problem here in Connecticut and are full steam ahead with getting all doses received administered within seven days of delivery,” she said in an email this week. “It sounds like it was one problematic batch in California.”

Dr. Zane Saul, chief of infectious disease at Bridgeport Hospital, said he’s also not aware of anyone having serious reactions to the vaccine. He said vaccine protocol has included asking recipients to sit for 15 minutes after getting the shot to make sure they are not having an immediate reaction. He said that has been effective.

Saul said he’s received two doses of the Moderna vaccine and had only mild side effects.

“At first, I had a little malaise and achiness, but today I woke up and felt fine,” he said.

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