The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Wake County Public Health Department to investigate a limited number of reactions that were reported during Johnson & Johnson vaccinations at PNC Arena on Thursday, April 8, health officials said in a news release.
During a Thursday COVID-19 vaccine clinic, 18 people had adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, prompting Wake County Public Health to “pause” using the vaccine at the site “out of an abundance of caution,” a county spokesperson told The News & Observer.
“Analysis by the CDC did not find any safety issues or reason for concern; and the CDC recommends continuing to administer the vaccine,” the news release said.
Of more than 2,300 people who received the vaccine at the PNC event, 18 experienced symptoms like nausea, dizziness, fainting and one allergic reaction. Four were taken to local hospitals for observation; all but one have been released from the hospital, the CDC said.
“The CDC is aware of several incidents of vaccine recipients experiencing dizziness, light headedness, feeling faint (vasovagal) and rapid breathing, sweating, following COVID-19 vaccines in Iowa, Colorado, Georgia, and North Carolina,” the release said.
People may experience temporary reactions after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine such as a sore arm, headache or feeling tired and achy for a day or two and in some cases, fever. In most cases, these temporary reactions are normal and are good signs that the body is building protection.
In addition, some people experience lightheadedness, nausea or fainting (symptoms of vasovagal syncope) after a vaccination,, health officials say.
The CDC recommends the following prevention measures:
Have a beverage or snack before getting your vaccine
Sit or lie down after you receive your vaccine
Breathe slowly and deeply before getting the vaccine and think of something relaxing
“COVID-19 vaccines are tested, safe and effective. Close to 175 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the United States,” the CDC said. “The three COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Federal Food and Drug Administration are proven to help prevent COVID-19 and are effective in preventing hospitalizations and death. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine, and there were no serious safety concerns found in clinical trials.”
The CDC has created a smartphone-based tool called V-safe that checks in on people after their COVID-19 vaccination. After enrolling, users receive regular text messages directing them to surveys where to report any problems or adverse reactions. V-safe allows people to quickly tell CDC if they have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on the answers to the web surveys, someone from CDC may call to check on the person and get more information.
In addition, anyone experiencing possible side effects (called adverse events) should report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This national system collects data to look for adverse events that are unexpected, appear to happen more often than expected, or have unusual patterns of occurrence.