J&J vaccine clinics paused in 4 states after small groups of patients have reactions; company, CDC respond

A handful of coronavirus vaccine clinics have paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after a small group of patients had reactions ranging from dizziness to nausea.

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Several patients at a clinic in Wake County, North Carolina, showed what officials were calling “adverse reactions” to the vaccine within the 15-minute waiting period after receiving the vaccine, WSOC reported.

Eighteen people complained of the reactions around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Fourteen had minor reactions and were treated at the clinic. Four others were transported to area hospitals, with the majority released after going through an evaluation.

More than 2,300 vaccines were distributed at the Wake County Clinic officials said, meaning fewer than 0.7% reported an adverse reaction during the waiting period.

At a clinic at UNC Health, between eight and 14 people fainted after getting the J&J shot Thursday but no one had to be taken to a hospital. About 1,200 vaccines were given that day, The Associated Press reported. That means between 0.7% and 1.2% of people fainted after getting the vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the people reported nausea, dizziness, fainting and an allergic reaction, with county officials saying the reactions were “consistent with known common side effects from receiving the vaccine,” WSOC reported.

The use of J&J vaccines resumed Friday, or will resume Saturday, in the North Carolina clinics after the CDC reviewed the lots being used and found no issues with the treatment, the AP reported.

Eight people who received the J&J vaccine on Wednesday at a clinic in Cumming, Georgia, had similar reactions. Seven were monitored and were sent home from the clinic. One person went to a hospital but was released, WSB reported.

The clinic held at the Cumming Fairgrounds dispensed a total of 435 vaccines that day with only eight people showing a reaction, or less than 2% of those given the vaccine on Wednesday.

Officials are looking at a number of factors at the Georgia distribution site, including how hot it was when the vaccine was being dispensed.

Colorado officials said 11 people had reactions with two people needing to be taken to a hospital, the AP reported.

Iowa officials also suspended the dispensing of the J&J shots, the AP reported.

There are also concerns of blood clots that have developed after patients have received the J&J vaccine, CNN reported. The company said that it is aware of the reports, and that clots have been reported with all of the COVID-19 vaccines.

“Our close tracking of side effects has revealed a small number of very rare events following vaccination. At present, no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events and the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine,” a statement said, according to CNN.

The European Medicines Agency is reviewing a connection between the vaccines and blood clots, saying there are four cases of people developing clots after getting the shot, but the EMA said it is unclear if another medical issue caused the condition.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna varieties that are a two-dose treatment separated by three to four weeks.


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