Second Vaccination Site Halts Operations After Adverse Reactions to Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Four people were taken to hospital for further observation

Second Vaccination Site Halts Operations After Adverse Reactions to Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigational pharmacy technician Sara Berech is reflected in the glass of a fume hood as she prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for a clinical trial in Aurora, Co. on Dec. 15, 2020. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
Isabel van Brugen
A vaccination site in Wake County, North Carolina, paused operations on Thursday after 18 adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson CCP virus vaccine were reported, officials said.
Officials confirmed that the immunization site at the PNC Arena in Raleigh paused vaccine operations “out of an abundance of caution,” after 18 adverse reactions were seen out of more than 2,300 Johnson & Johnson CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus doses administered in less than two hours of appointments.

Of the 18 people evaluated by EMS, 14 had “minor reactions” and were treated at the vaccination site. Four others were transported to local hospitals for further examination.

“Wake County made the decision to pause today in partnership with the NC Department of Health and Human Services and after consulting with the manufacturer,” Wake county officials said. “Together, these teams continue to investigate the issue.”

The remainder of people who were scheduled to receive their Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the site Thursday were able to either reschedule their appointments or receive the Pfizer vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose vaccine, while the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines need two doses. All three are approved for emergency use in the United States.

County officials sought to reassure residents that the adverse reactions seen in the 18 people were consistent with known common side effects from receiving the vaccine.

“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’s Medical Director Kim McDonald said.

“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.”

According to the New York Post, the county will hold off from administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until it collects additional information.

It comes a day after a mass vaccination site at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado was shut down after 11 people suffered adverse reactions to the same vaccine, out of more than 1,700 administered shots.

Johnson & Johnson told FOX 31 in a statement that it was “collecting the necessary information, including from the local vaccination center, to assess these reports.”

“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 said.