Allergic reactions raise concerns over COVID-19 vaccine safety

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- COVID-19 vaccine concerns for the most part have centered on a shortages. But on Monday, there was a new concern about vaccine safety.

California health officials were hitting the brakes on an entire lot of vaccines from Moderna. This comes after ten people had severe allergic reactions all within one day of receiving the shots.

"Don't freak out. Continue to try to get the vaccine," said Dr. Kenneth Kim.

Dr. Kim is an allergist and CEO of Ark Clinical Research. He says it's smart for the state to halt vaccinations using doses from the questioned Moderna lot.

More than 330,000 doses from that lot have been shipped to California.

Kim believes the new problem could be tied to an additive in the vaccine called polyethylene glycol.

"We think that this may actually be a cause of allergic reactions, so if you do have an allergy to polyethylene glycol, yes, you need to avoid taking these vaccines," said Dr. Kim.

But Dr. Kim recommends everyone else get vaccinated, even if you had COVID.

He says wait a month, then get the vaccine to ensure that you have continued immunity.

However, there are concerns that there won't be enough vaccines to go around.

Los Angeles County is expecting to get another shipment on Tuesday, but healthcare workers and those who live or work in nursing homes are the only ones cleared for the shots in the county right now.

The Dodger Stadium vaccination site was closed on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County is set to open five more vaccination Super Sites on Tuesday at the Pomona Fairplex, the Forum in Inglewood, Cal State Northridge, the L.A. County Office of Education in Downey and Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled a new program that will see firefighters distribute COVID Kits to some of the hardest hit parts of his city.

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