Raleigh, Caroline du Nord – Several COVID-19 vaccine suppliers have stopped giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after a few side effects were reported on Thursday.
Wake County spokeswoman Stacy Beard said 18 people had an adverse reaction to the vaccine at the PNC Arena clinic. More than 2,300 Johnson & Johnson vaccines were administered at the clinic on Thursday, meaning 0.78% of those vaccinated had a reaction.
Fourteen people who had a reaction were assessed by Wake County EMS at PNC Arena and were treated on site. Four people were taken to a local hospital for assessment and are expected to be released.
Symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, fainting, and an allergic reaction have been reported by those who have reported reactions.
“All individuals are being watched. If they are worried, we monitor them for 30 minutes. So most of the indications were caught early on, ”said Ryan Jury, who oversees Wake County’s vaccination efforts.
On Thursday evening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that vaccinations continue at PNC Arena after health experts found no safety issues or cause for concern.
In a statement, the CDC said it was aware of vaccine recipients reporting dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, rapid breathing and sweating after receiving the vaccine in Iowa, Colorado, Georgia and North Carolina.
Ahead of the CDC’s announcement, the county health official suspended Johnson & Johnson’s vaccinations on Friday. On Friday, the mass vaccination clinic will offer only the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.
“There are other products that we’ve been using for months, but if you look at how long we’ve been using the Johnson & Johnson product, it’s not necessarily that long. So we don’t know what is normal, what is not normal. We’re really just starting out, and [we’re] just trying to assess what the causes were, is there any cause for concern, ”said Jury.
Locations, phone numbers to get your COVID shot in central North Carolina
“There is no greater priority than the safety and well-being of the people we serve. When we receive reports of adverse events in people receiving our medicines and vaccines, we collect the necessary information and carefully assess the events. Reports on people receiving our COVID -19 vaccine and our assessment of those reports are shared with the United States Food and Drug Administration and other relevant health authorities. This is part of the process established to inform the comprehensive surveillance programs of health authorities that monitor the overall safety of medicines, as well as vaccines authorized for use against this pandemic, ”a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson said in a statement on the adverse reaction to the vaccine at PNC Arena.
Doses of Johnson & Johnson in Wake County will be held and stored until further information is collected.
UNC Health spokesperson Alan Wolf said the medical system was halting the delivery of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to all UNC Health vaccination clinics after a small number of recipients felt unconscious at the Friday Center Thursday.
In a statement, UNC Health said more than 2,200 Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered at the Friday Center and the Hillsborough Hospital Clinic. The precise number of people who reacted to the vaccine has not been given.
Wolf said UNC Health is reassessing for Friday and the hiatus is until officials can better understand what’s going on.
Dr David Wohl, an infectious disease specialist at UNC Health, said that over the next few days health experts will study the safety reports, examine every reaction and look for ways to calm those nervous around the shot. .
“I don’t think it’s an allergic reaction. Most of the people I’ve seen here today who have felt passed out have a history of fainting, especially around needles. So it’s really difficult, ”Wohl explained. “We are also vaccinating people who are different from what we used to do. Often people take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because they are averse to needles and they do not want to be vaccinated. We’re just trying to make sure that’s the case. the vaccine or people taking the vaccine or a combination of the two. “
Coronavirus Vaccinations in North Carolina
The Duke University Health System has said it will continue to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccines as no adverse effects have been reported in its clinics.
“Duke Health received the Janssen (J&J) vaccine from the same lot number identified at the Wake County vaccination clinic, but the shipment was sent directly to Duke without a middleman. No Duke patient has experienced serious incidents. The minor side effects of the vaccine were consistent with those reported by the manufacturer before authorization and remain within expected levels, ”said Thomas Owens, president of Duke University Hospital and senior vice president of Duke Health, in a statement.
Of the 2.2 million people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in North Carolina, only 8% have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This means that about 167,000 people have received the vaccine, or about 1.5% of the state’s population.
The number of people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is likely to increase as the number of doses entering the state has increased dramatically. This week, the state received nearly 150,000 doses, up from less than 60,000 last week. That number was more than the number of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines that entered the state this week.