DENVER – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says it has no cause for concern about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 11 people experienced immediate symptoms following their injections Wednesday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
The CDPHE and Centers for Disease Control investigated the batch of vaccine used on Wednesday after pausing the vaccinations at the site in Commerce City on Wednesday when the 11 people experienced symptoms including nausea, dizziness and fainting.
Two people were taken to a hospital for treatment but were released Wednesday night, Centura Health officials said Thursday afternoon. Nine others were treated at the site with juice and water.
“After reviewing each patient’s symptoms, analyzing other vaccinations from the same lot of the vaccine and speaking with the CDC to confirm our findings, we are confident in saying that there is no reason for concern,” said Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer, CDPHE. “We are committed to making sure every community clinic is well-staffed with medical professionals who take patient safety with the utmost seriousness, just as they did at yesterday’s clinic.”
The CDPHE said the Food and Drug Administration also ran the two lot numbers used at the site on Tuesday “and found no worrying pattern of similar events with these lots.”
The CDC said in a statement it was aware of some immediate reactions in several states to the vaccines but also said it has found no cause for concern or reason to believe that health departments stop administering any lots of vaccines.
"CDC is aware of several incidents of vaccine recipients experiencing dizziness, light headedness, feeling faint (vasovagal) and rapid breathing, sweating (anxiety-related) symptoms following COVID-19 vaccines in Iowa, Colorado, Georgia, and North Carolina. CDC is working closely with each of the state and local health departments to evaluate these incidents. CDC has performed vaccine lot analyses and has not found any reason for concern," the department said in a statement.
"Currently CDC is not recommending health departments stop administering any lots of COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Many people don’t have any side effects after COVID-19 vaccines, 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," the CDC added.
The state said the mass vaccination site was prepared to respond accordingly to the symptoms people experienced. At the site, people are advised to wait in the parking lot for 15-30 minutes following their injection to monitor for any immediate reactions, which can be a known side-effect of being vaccinated.
“As a high reliability organization, we are committed to delivering safe, quality whole person care,” said Shauna Gulley, MD, Centura Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer. “In partnership with the state, we have designed protocols and put in place safety measures to ensure patient safety at our vaccination clinics and yesterday, we took the appropriate precaution for our community.”
More than 1,700 people were vaccinated at the site in Commerce City on Wednesday. The 640 people who had been scheduled to be vaccinated after the site was put on hold Wednesday had their appointments rescheduled for Sunday, when the Pfizer vaccine will be provided.