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Centura Health no longer using Johnson & Johnson vaccine at three drive-up mass vaccination sites

Decision made due to national shortage and recent adverse reactions
Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Posted at 9:17 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-10 17:38:32-04

DENVER — Centura Health will only offer Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at three drive-up mass vaccination events beginning Saturday.

Centura Health says it made the decision to stop vaccinating with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to the national shortage of the vaccine, as well as the adverse reactions experienced at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Wednesday.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have remained flexible and nimble, always ready to adapt our processes and systems rooted in our commitment to Safety First, People Always,” said Peter D. Banko, president & CEO of Centura Health. “I applaud and support our incredible caregivers at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for their courage to see something, say something, and stop the line.”

Eleven 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.

Banko said the reactions to the shots could be considered normal if administered in a hospital setting, but they were concerned because the patients were in cars.

"While these are normal reactions when you’re in your physicians office on the exam table, we had concerns that these were not normal reactions when you’re sitting in the front seat of your car, or worse yet, driving home, so we paused the administration of vaccines on Wednesday," said Banko.

Centura noted that the CDC says the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and effective. Centura will continue to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in it's ambulatory care and physician clinic settings. The state said Thursday there was "no cause for concern" about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"The CDC and FDA have looked at all the lots and determined that there is no issues with the vaccine itself, and it's safe and effective. Both the CDC and FDA are currently evaluating at least 10 other incidents that happened similarly in Iowa, Georgia and North Carolina," said Banko.

The three sites impacted include Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Broadmoor World Arena and the Colorado State Fairgrounds. The 24,400 patients currently scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at one of the clinics between April 10-14 will keep their same appointment time, same date and same location and receive dose one of the Pfizer vaccine. The second dose will be automatically scheduled for 21 days after the first dose at the same time and location.

Centura is notified patients who are impacted by email, text message or both. Anyone who needs to reschedule can call (855) 882-8065 any day from 7 a.m.-8 p.m.