A growing number of clinics nationwide offering COVID-19 vaccines have paused operations this week after "adverse reactions" were reported by people who received the Johnson & Johnson shot.
Federal health officials have been evaluating incidents in Georgia, Iowa, Colorado and North Carolina, but have not "found any reason for concern."
On Thursday evening, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed the vaccine lot at the latest site to report reactions, the PNC Arena clinic in Wake County, North Carolina, after 18 people had reactions during the required post-vaccination monitoring period earlier in the day.
Out of more than 2,300 Johnson & Johnson vaccine shots administered, 14 patients suffered "minor reactions" and were "treated on site," according to county officials. Four others were transported to area hospitals for observation and all but one have already been released.
Officials did not disclose the types of reactions but said they were "consistent with known common side effects" of the vaccine.
After the reported reactions, the county and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services paused operations "out of an abundance of caution" while the issue was investigated.
In just a few hours, the CDC determined there was no "reason for concern" and recommends continuing to administer the vaccine.
However, the news came just a day after two other vaccine sites, one in Colorado and another in Georgia, also reported side effects.
On Wednesday, 13 people had adverse reactions to Johnson & Johnson vaccines at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. Even though less than 1% of the more than 1,700 people suffered reactions, the site still paused operations for the day, The Denver Gazette reported.
"Out of an abundance of caution," the Georgia Department of Health also paused Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the Cumming Fairgrounds site after eight people, also on Wednesday, experienced adverse reactions. One person was sent to a local hospital for evaluation while the seven others were monitored on-site before being sent home.
Georgia health officials are looking into what caused the reactions but don't believe "there is anything wrong with the vaccine itself" the health department commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said.
A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson told FOX Business that after receiving reports of adverse reaction, the company collected "necessary information and carefully assess the events" before sharing its findings with federal health authorities.
"This is part of the established process to inform health authorities’ comprehensive surveillance programs that monitor the overall safety of medicines, as well the vaccines authorized for use against this pandemic," the spokesperson said.
Still, Wake County officials tried to reassure the public Thursday, saying that more than 4.5 million people across the nation have already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and that "reactions are expected."
|JNJ||JOHNSON & JOHNSON||157.11||-1.91||-1.20%|
"What’s important is that our patients are here with us being monitored, and medical personnel are right here in our clinics to respond to these rare events," Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald said.
All Friday appointments at the North Carolina clinic have been switched to the Pfizer vaccine, officials said, adding that all of the patients were notified ahead of time.