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North Carolina sites pause COVID shots after 'adverse' reactions to J&J vaccine; CDC finds no safety issues

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Federal health officials found no safety issues with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after a North Carolina vaccination site was temporarily shut down due to a "limited number of adverse reactions." 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed the vaccine lot at the PNC Arena clinic in Wake County after 18 people had reactions during the required post-vaccination monitoring period earlier in the day. 

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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. 

Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Johnson & Johnson)

COVID-19 VACCINATION SITE SHUTS DOWN AFTER ADVERSE REACTIONS TO JOHNSON & JOHNSON SHOT, REPORT SAYS

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 13 people had adverse reactions to Johnson & Johnson vaccines at a Colorado vaccine site. Less than 1% of the more than 1,700 people suffered reactions, causing Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to pause operations for the day, The Denver Gazette reported.

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Still, Wake County officials tried to reassure the public, saying that more than 4.5 million people across the nation have already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and that "reactions are expected." 

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"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 clinic will be switched to the Pfizer vaccine, officials said, adding that all of the patients were notified ahead of time. 

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