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CDC Finds No Safety Risk With Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Following Limited Adverse Reaction

COVID-19 vaccine dose drawn from a vial at WakeMed Health.
WakeMed Health

An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not find "any safety issues" after two North Carolina vaccine providers reported limited adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. Wake County and UNC Health paused administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine yesterday after reporting these reactions.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement Thursday night saying the agency had worked with the CDC and Wake County Public Health Department to investigate. NCDHHS says the CDC did not find "reason for concern" and that the federal agency "recommends continuing to administer the vaccine."

Wake County is resuming COVID-19 vaccinations at PNC Arena in Raleigh after about 20 patients suffered adverse reactions yesterday from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The clinic had vaccinated more than 2,300 people with the vaccine yesterday. Fourteen had minor reactions and were treated on-site according to a county news release, four were taken to area hospitals for treatment but were expected to be released.

People who are scheduled for vaccine appointments today at PNC will receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

UNC Health also plans to continue administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after some patients reported feeling lightheaded or faint. UNC Health will not give out the vaccine today. Instead, health officials are using today to update its procedures.

This change only impacts the UNC vaccine clinic in Hillsborough, where patients will get the first dose of the Moderna vaccine instead.

UNC is looking at ways to better identify people with a history of fainting and support such these people during the vaccination process, like providing drinks and snacks.

WUNC's Jay Price contributed to this report.

Celeste Gracia covers the environment for WUNC. She has been at the station since September 2019 and started off as morning producer.
Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
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