Several adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine have led Colorado authorities to close a mass vaccination site in a Denver suburb on Wednesday.
Officials said 11 people experienced adverse reactions to the vaccine, according to KUSA-TV.
According to Centura Health, the company that operated the clinic in Commerce City, those 11 people experienced symptoms including nausea and dizziness.
The symptoms were severe enough in two people that they were taken to hospitals for observation.
After the 11 people experienced a severe reaction to the vaccine, the mass site closed for the rest of the day, which meant 640 people who were scheduled to be vaccinated were turned away from the clinic, held at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
About 1,700 people received the vaccine at the clinic that day before it closed.
The unused vaccine doses from the event have been sequestered and will be tested, officials said.
“At this point we have no reason to believe there was anything wrong with the vaccine itself, it’s very important to take precautions however,” said Peter Banko, Centura Health’s president and CEO.
Dr. Shauna Gulley, Centura’s senior vice president and chief medical officer, said the reactions to the vaccine ranged from lightheadedness and nausea to low blood pressure and hypotension.
“The vast majority of adverse reactions we saw yesterday were quite mild, most people felt better just after some observation and rest,” she said.
People who were not served Wednesday were rescheduled for a Sunday vaccine clinic that will be administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the incident was not a reason to skip the vaccine.
“We’re committed to providing safe community clinics, and we are so grateful that the clinic today properly observed and helped patients with immediate side effects,” said Scott Bookman, the department’s COVID-19 incident commander.
“We know it can be alarming to hear about people getting transported to the hospital, and we want to reassure Coloradans that the CDC and public health are closely monitoring all the authorized vaccines continually. From what we know, today’s side effects were consistent with what can be expected.”
Bookman said the side effects reported were “consistent with what can be expected” from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, CNN reported.
“Getting a vaccine is far safer than getting severely sick with COVID-19. It’s why I got the vaccine, and why I’ve wanted my family to get it. Based on everything we know, it remains true that the best vaccine to get is the one you can get the soonest. Thank you to everyone who had to reschedule their appointments for their patience today,” Bookman said.
The most common vaccine side effects are arm soreness, fatigue, body aches and a fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has said that side effects are more pronounced with the second shot of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which require two shots. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-shot vaccine.
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