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Several Sites Pause J & J Vaccine After Adverse Reactions

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April 12, 2021 -- Several vaccine sites across the U.S. paused administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine last week after adverse reactions were reported.

The CDC evaluated the incidents in Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, and North Carolina, and found reports of dizziness, light headedness, and rapid breathing, Kristen Nordlund, a CDC spokeswoman, told the Associated Press.

The CDC investigated the vaccine lots and said it had found no reason for concern. Federal health officials said it was safe to resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the AP reported.

On Saturday, North Carolina and Iowa both resumed J & J vaccinations after temporarily suspending them last week when several people had immediate reactions. In North Carolina, multiple people reportedly fainted after receiving the vaccine at sites near Raleigh and Chapel Hill. At least 26 people experienced adverse reactions, and four were taken to hospitals for further examination.

“There is no reason to believe there is anything wrong with the vaccine itself, and other individuals who have received the J&J vaccine should not be concerned,” Kathleen Toomey, MD, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, said in a news release on Friday.

Georgia health officials paused the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after eight people had reactions at the Cumming Fairgrounds, which is about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta. One person was evaluated at a hospital and released, and the others were monitored at the site and sent home.

“We are looking into what happened and what may have caused the reactions, including the conditions at the fairgrounds such as heat and the ability to keep the site cool,” Toomey said.

Some of the reactions, such as nausea and dizziness, were consistent with common reactions associated with any vaccine, the Georgia Department of Public Health said in the news release. However, due to the number of people affected, Johnson & Johnson shots were paused for evaluation.

In Colorado on Wednesday, 11 people reported adverse reactions after a Johnson & Johnson shot. Two people were taken to a hospital.

Centura Health of Colorado late announced it is no longer offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, citing both national shortages and adverse reactions by 11 recipients. Centura emphasized in it’s statement Friday that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “remains both extremely safe and effective.” The company also says it will continue to use the J & J vaccine in its physician clinics.

Centura Health president and CEO, Peter D. Banko said in a statement, “Throughout the pandemic, we have remained flexible and nimble, always ready to adapt our processes and systems rooted in our commitment to ‘Safety First, People Always.”’

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Associated Press, “North Carolina sites halt J&J shots after adverse reactions.” “North Carolina sites to resume J&J vaccines after CDC review.”
Colorado Public Radio, “Centura Health Pulls Johnson & Johnson Vaccine From 3 Mass Vaccination Sites”
Denver Post, “Centura Health to stop using Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Colorado mass-vaccination sites”

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