What We’re Reading: Trial Loses Participants; Moderna Vaccine Allergic Reactions; LGBTQ Health Care Discrimination

Elderly individuals have started to withdraw from Novovax’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine trial; California reports possible allergic reactions to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine; LGBTQ individuals increasingly report being refused health care treatment.

Novavax Trial Loses Participants to Expanded Vaccine Eligibility

Hoping to instead get an approved vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna, individuals 65 years and older have initiated requests to drop out of Novovax’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine trial, reports The Washington Post. Following expanded vaccine eligibility rules, they are asking to be unblinded in order to know if they got the placebo or the experimental vaccine. The trial began enrollment on December 28, 2020, with a goal of having 30,000 enrollees—it currently has just 9000—of whom a fourth are 65 years and older because of their higher risk of serious disease. Novovax previously encountered a trial roadblock because it did not have its own manufacturing facility, so it was kicked out of its contracted manufacturer facility to make room for Johnson & Johnson.

California Reporting Possible Allergic Reactions to Moderna Vaccine

As reported by the California Department of Public Health, batch 041L20A of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine may be responsible for several allergic reactions coming out of 1 vaccination center in San Diego, according to the company. Over 1.2 million doses were produced in this batch, with 330,000 sent to 287 providers in California, 93% of which have not been distributed. Following a manufacturing review for this lot, along with its shipping and storage records, Moderna has said that all necessary criteria were met. Similar occurrences of allergic reactions from this batch or other batches have not been reported.

Treatment Refusal, Provider Abuse Reported by LGBTQ Individuals

Up to one-third of transgender individuals in North Carolina have reported that their health care providers have refused to treat them or have inflicted verbal or physical abuse, reports Kaiser Health News. Advocates in the state are pushing for nondiscrimination legislation following the December 1 expiration of a ban prohibiting enactment of such laws. Areas that could be affected include employment, housing, and health care—particularly the loss of health insurance from a firing based on sexual identity. A chief source of concern is the outgoing Trump administration’s removal of Affordable Care Act provisions that blocked sexual orientation– and gender identity–based discrimination practices by social service providers.