Disneyland vaccine site closed second day amid high winds
Orange County COVID-19 vaccination plans hit a snag this week, as high winds forced a two-day closure of the Disneyland vaccination site in Anaheim on Tuesday and Wednesday and a batch of Moderna vaccines given to more than 5,000 county residents undergoes investigation for causing possible allergic reactions.
With strong winds forecast for Orange County through Wednesday night, Orange County Health Care Agency officials announced Monday the vaccination super POD (point-of-dispensing) site that opened last week at Disneyland would be closed Tuesday. After some deliberation Tuesday, the agency reported the site would remain closed a second day and likely reopen Thursday, based on weather forecasts.
Thousands scheduled to receive the first-round vaccine, including residents 65 and older, were notified of the temporary cancellation through the Othena app, recently launched to help residents schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. An OCHA representative confirmed those originally scheduled to be vaccinated Tuesday have had their appointments moved to Thursday.
“Due to high wind warnings issued by the National Weather Service for Orange County, the Disneyland Super POD site will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021,” read an OCHA tweet Monday. “Those with appointments for Tuesday will be notified of their rescheduled appointment through Othena.com.”
Jessica Good, a public information manager for the agency, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that no appointments had been made for Wednesday because of weather forecasts earlier in the week and said Othena will resume scheduling as soon as the high winds abate.
A high wind warning in effect through 10 p.m. Wednesday across southwestern portions of the state, including Orange County, is forecasting winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph, the National Weather Service said. Residents were advised Tuesday to avoid forested areas and are warned of winds high enough to blow down trees and power lines, causing possible power outages.
O.C. Health Care Agency representatives said Tuesday that no vaccine doses would be discarded as a result of the unexpected two-day closure.
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Uncooperative weather is the latest factor throwing a wrench into Orange County’s goal to see most residents vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 4.
The Health Care Agency announced in a release Monday it had suspended the use of a batch of Moderna vaccine being investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the manufacturer for causing a possible allergic reaction.
At least 5,217 individuals in Orange County are thought to have received a vaccination from the batch in question — lot 041L20A — according to information provided by the state’s immunization registry.
Residents are advised to check their vaccination cards to see whether they received a vaccine from that lot number and to report any adverse reactions to their doctor or primary care provider.
The state auditor concluded Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration divvied up federal coronavirus relief overly generously to more populous counties.
“To date, the HCA has received zero notifications of allergic reactions requiring medical attention due to any Moderna vaccines,” the release stated.
Technical problems are also making it difficult for locals to sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as the system struggles to meet unusually high demands.
Orange County Board of Supervisors Chair Andrew Do said in a Jan. 13 news conference held shortly after Othena was launched that more than 10,000 people attempted to book appointments in one two-hour period.
“I know people may have a hard time getting through because the volume of people trying to get appointments is so high that the system can be overloaded,” Do said, adding that an IT team was working to increase the system’s bandwidth. “Be patient — [and] if it’s not available today, please try again.”
The county estimated as of Tuesday more than 250,000 individuals have so far registered for a vaccine appointment through othena.com.
Cardine writes for Times Community News.
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