North Carolina health officials said they stopped administering Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses on Thursday at three mass vaccination sites around the Raleigh area.
At least 26 people experienced adverse reactions, including fainting, according to reports. Out of those, four people were taken to local hospitals for further examination.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that reactions to the vaccine are not uncommon. The agency said they’re reviewing reports of adverse reactions in four states including North Carolina.
“Right now, we are working with NCDHHS and the CDC to further evaluate the situation to assure everyone is confident in the continued safety of our vaccine operations,” said a statement from Kim McDonald, medical director at Wake County Human Services.
Wake County announced Thursday evening that it stopped administering Johnson & Johnson doses at PNC Arena after 18 of the more than 2,300 people vaccinated experienced adverse reactions. People at the site were given the option of the Pfizer vaccine or reschedule their existing J&J appointments, according to officials.
CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said they’re aware of reports of adverse reactions in some people who received the J&J shots in Iowa, Colorado, Georgia and North Carolina, but said the vaccines are “safe and effective.”
“Many people don’t have any side effects after COVID-19 vaccines,” she said. “But some people will have pain or swelling at the injection site or fever, chills, or a headache. These typically don’t last long and are signs that your body is building protection.”
Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that, “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.”