Wake County Pauses J&J Vaccinations

Out of an abundance of caution, Wake County has paused Johnson & Johnson vaccinations at PNC Arena after a limited number of adverse reactions were reported at PNC Arena during the required post-vaccination monitoring period.

More than 2,300 J&J vaccines were administered at the PNC clinic today. Wake County EMS evaluated 18 total patients. Fourteen of those people had minor reactions and were treated on site. Four others were transported to area hospitals where they are being evaluated and are expected to be released.

Wake County made the decision to pause today in partnership with the NC Department of Health and Human Services and after consulting with the manufacturer. Together, these teams continue to investigate the issue. Currently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are analyzing the vaccine lot and expect to issue guidance within the next two hours. 

Wake County is committed to providing safe community clinics, and it’s thanks to the 15-minute observation period adhered to at these sites that staff was able to provide immediate care.

The site is and will be prepared to respond to any adverse events.

Nationally, more than 4.5 million people have received the J&J vaccine. The reactions people experienced today were consistent with known common side effects from receiving the vaccine.

"We know it can be alarming to hear about or see people having reactions to vaccination - this is why we closely monitor those we vaccinate in case of reaction," said Wake County Public Health's Medical Director Kim McDonald. "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."

Less than two hours of appointments were left at PNC Arena for the day when officials made the decision. Today, those remaining appointment holders were offered Pfizer vaccines or the opportunity to reschedule until the evaluation is completed.

Wake County plans to hold and store any J&J vaccine until additional information is collected.

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