4th US Site Pauses COVID-19 Vaccinations After Adverse Reactions

4th US Site Pauses COVID-19 Vaccinations After Adverse Reactions
Doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in a refrigerator on April 8, 2021. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

A fourth COVID-19 vaccination site in the United States has temporarily paused giving shots after reporting a batch of adverse reactions.

Injections at the Cumming Fairgrounds in Forsyth County, Georgia, have been halted after eight people experienced adverse reactions post-vaccination, the state’s Department of Health said on April 9. All eight had received Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

One person was evaluated at a hospital and released, while the others were monitored onsite and later sent home.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

“The reactions were consistent with common reactions in adults being vaccinated with any vaccine, but due to the number of individuals affected, the site stopped the J&J vaccinations to evaluate,” Georgia health officials said in a statement.

In total, 425 people received vaccines at the fairgrounds on the day the adverse reactions were seen.

“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, the state’s health commissioner, said in a statement. “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.”

A mass vaccination site in Colorado was shut down last week, as was a site in North Carolina, after a spate of post-vaccination adverse reactions.

“We are confident in saying that there is no reason for concern,” Colorado’s top medical officer later said after a review of each patient’s symptoms and an analysis of other vaccinations from the same lot.

A site in Iowa also experienced post-vaccination adverse reactions, Georgia officials said April 9.

A spokesperson for Iowa’s Department of Health told The Epoch Times via email that people receiving vaccines at a mass vaccination site in the state were “experiencing dizziness, light headedness, feeling faint (vasovagal), rapid breathing, and sweating (anxiety-related) symptoms.”

“These types of responses are common and expected following vaccinations in general,” she added.

A nurse draws from a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, in Los Angeles, on March 25, 2021. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
A nurse draws from a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, in Los Angeles, on March 25, 2021. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with state and local health officials to review the vaccine batches used in all four states, which were all from Johnson & Johnson. The agency conducted assessments, including reviewing reports submitted to the passive reporting system called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

“CDC has performed vaccine lot analyses and has not found any reason for concern. Currently CDC and FDA are not recommending health departments stop administering any lots of COVID-19 vaccine,” an agency spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.

U.S. officials last week started a study to investigate allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines, but Johnson & Johnson’s shot is not being studied in that trial.

A small percentage of vaccine recipients have experienced adverse reactions, including anaphylaxis, or severe reactions, and a subset of those have died.

The current allergic reaction rate post-vaccination is approximately two to five cases per million, according to the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Europe’s top medical regulator said on April 9 that it was probing reports of post-vaccination blood clots among a group that had received Johnson & Johnson’s shot. At least three of the instances of post-vaccination clots were in the United States.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is not yet being administered in Europe.

“We are aware that thromboembolic events including those with thrombocytopenia have been reported with all 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,” Johnson & Johnson told The Epoch Times via email.

Janssen is a subsidiary of the New Jersey-based company.

Johnson & Johnson says anyone who experiences the following symptoms after getting a vaccine should immediately seek medical care: shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling in the leg, persistent abdominal pain, neurological symptoms, tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of injection, and excessive or easy bruising.

The FDA said it was already aware of reports in the United States of post-vaccination blood clots, including some that were associated with low levels of platelets in the blood.

“Both conditions can have many different causes. At this time, we have not found a causal relationship with vaccination and we are continuing our investigation and assessment of these cases. Our analysis of the data will inform the potential need for regulatory action,” the agency told The Epoch Times in an email.

“During the post-authorization period, there is continuous safety monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccines by FDA and CDC. The goal of continuous monitoring is to quickly identify any specific safety concerns that may arise, and we will keep the public updated as we learn more.”