Some U.S. areas stop using J&J COVID-19 vaccine after ‘adverse reaction’ reports

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Following the shutdown of a mass vaccination site in Colorado after 11 people reported “adverse reactions” to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 jab, a county in North Carolina also paused its use on Thursday.

The decision came “out of an abundance of caution,” after some people reported feelings of nausea and dizziness, a senior communications consultant at the Wake County Government told Global News in an emailed statement Thursday.

Of the 2,300 Johnson & Johnson vaccines administered at the Wake County PNC clinic on Thursday, a total of 18 patients were evaluated by the Wake County Emergency Medical Services. “Fourteen of those people had minor reactions and were treated on site,” the statement read.

Four others were taken to area hospitals where they are currently being monitored and “are expected to be released” soon.

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“We know it can be alarming to hear about or see people having reactions to vaccination — this is why we closely monitor those we vaccinate in case of reaction,” Wake County Public Health medical director Kim McDonald said in a statement released Thursday.

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“Right now we are working with NCDHHS and the CDC to further evaluate the situation to assure everyone is confident in the continued safety of our vaccine operations,” McDonald said.

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Earlier on Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment reported 11 patients experiencing symptoms of nausea and dizziness after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Community vaccination site.

An official statement released by the state said Thursday that they have “no reason to believe” the people who were vaccinated “should be concerned.”

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“Adverse reactions are typically immediate,” it said, adding, “Health care providers monitor patients for reactions after administering vaccines for at least 15 minutes after the injection (or for 30 minutes if the patient has a history of anaphylaxis) for this reason.”

The Wake County move to pause vaccination, however, comes after consulting with the manufacturer, their statement has confirmed, adding that they plan “to hold and store any J&J vaccine until additional information is collected.”

The vaccine manufacturer, too, is monitoring reports of reactions closely.

“Any report about individuals receiving our COVID-19 vaccine and our assessment of that report is shared with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other appropriate health authorities,” vaccine manufacturer Johnson & Johnson told Global News in an email on Thursday.

“We are collecting the necessary information, including from the local vaccination center,” to assess these reports of adverse reactions, the email said.

“There is no greater priority than the safety and well-being of the people we serve, and we carefully review reports of adverse events in individuals receiving our medicines and vaccines,” it added.

In America, more than 4.5 million people have received the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine so far. The vaccine is significantly easier to ship and store, as it can be kept in a refrigerator (between 2 C and 8 C) rather than a freezer, unlike the ones from Pfizer and Moderna.


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