UNC Health pauses distribution of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to adverse reactions

State - Regional

This picture taken on November 17, 2020 shows a syringe and a bottle reading “Vaccine Covid-19. (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — UNC Health said it paused administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after adverse reactions in a small number of patients, a spokesperson said Thursday evening.

UNC Health has given out more than 2,200 doses of the J&J vaccine over the past two days. Spokesperson Alan Wolf said there were “a few patients feeling faint and light-headed after receiving the J&J doses at the Friday Center clinic.”

“We will work closely with our partners, including Wake County and the State of North Carolina, to share any new information. Our patients’ safety and health is our top priority,” Wolf said.

Earlier Friday, Wake County announced it paused vaccinations at its PNC Arena site after 18 people suffered adverse reactions to the J&J shot. Of those, four people went to the hospital.

Earlier, the company told Nexstar station KDVR that 0.8 percent of patients — or 13 people out of an estimated 1,700 — who received the vaccine experienced adverse reactions.

Johnson & Johnson sent the following statement to CBS:

There is no greater priority than the safety and well-being of the people we serve. When we receive reports of adverse events in individuals receiving our medicines and vaccines, we collect necessary information and carefully assess the events. Reports about individuals receiving our COVID-19 vaccine and our assessment of those reports are shared with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other appropriate 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.

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