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Unexpected String of Allergic Reactions Causes Delays at ‘Vaccination Super Station' Near Petco Park

NBC San Diego logo NBC San Diego 1 day ago NBC 7 Staff and Jackie Crea
a tall building in a city: An image of the “Vaccination Super Station” in San Diego’s Tailgate Park. © Provided by NBC San Diego

An image of the “Vaccination Super Station” in San Diego’s Tailgate Park.

Allergic reactions in some Moderna vaccine recipients caused delays Wednesday at San Diego County's new "Vaccination Super Station" near downtown's Petco Park, County health officials confirmed.

Just after 11 a.m., NBC 7 confirmed that some people waiting for their vaccines at the site at Tailgate Park were experiencing delays. Others said they had been turned away.

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NBC 7 reached out to those running the station; a representatve said the delay was about an hour long due to logistical issues having to do with more doses of the vaccine arriving at the location.

During the county's weekly COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Eric McDonald, Director of Epidemiology for the county, said vaccinations were slowed down after allergic reactions were detected in six vaccine recipients.

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While allergic reactions are expected in mass vaccination operations, that amount seen Wednesday was slightly higher than expected for that time period so the Super Station slowed down vaccinations so they could investigate, Dr. McDonald said. The site also swapped the vaccines it was using for a new batch out of an abundance of caution, in case the reactions had to do with the original batch.

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A county spokesperson confirmed the vaccines associated with the allergic reactions were from Moderna, one of two pharmaceutical companies with FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

The Super Station has contingencies in place for any type of reaction. It's too early in the investigation to know exactly what caused the allergic reactions, Dr. McDonald said.

Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher said the site would continue administering vaccines Wednesday and stay open late to honor all appointments that may have been impacted by the delays earlier in the day.

The location is a partnership between the county, the Padres and UC San Diego Health in an effort to quickly roll out the coronavirus vaccine and administer as many shots as possible to eligible residents.

The site launched with a goal to immunize 5,000 health care workers daily, aiming to administer the coronavirus vaccine to those considered to be in the Phase 1A-Tier of the state’s vaccine priority list.

Health professionals from dialysis centers, primary health clinics, dental facilities and more are eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine now. UC San Diego Health employees will administer the vaccines at the new Super Station.

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The new site features 42 tents, including four walk-up tents. The goal on its opening day was to vaccinate 2,500 health care workers.

Officials hoped to increase that number to at least 5,000 health care workers daily and, ultimately, vaccinate 500,000 health care workers across the region.

Fletcher said the Super Station would continue to work through vaccinating health care workers. In the future, Fletcher hopes the site can expand vaccinations to residents who are 65 or older.

"We have not finished our health care workers and we're going to continue to work through those," Fletcher said.

Denise Foster, Chief Nursing Officer for San Diego County, said Monday the site was expecting to receive an initial shipment of more than 50,000 doses.

A "large portion" of the doses would be the Moderna vaccine, Foster said, while the rest were the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The Vaccination Super Station in San Diego is part of a bigger trend happening across California as counties attempt to ramp up vaccination efforts while COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

California is transforming baseball stadiums, fairgrounds, and even a parking lot at Disneyland Resort in Orange County into mass vaccination sites.

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