UPDATE: Wake County Moves Ahead with Vaccinations Following J&J Pause

Wake County Public Health has worked with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate a limited number of reactions that were reported during Johnson & Johnson vaccinations at PNC Arena today, Thursday, April 8. Analysis by the CDC did not find any safety issues or reason for concern, and the CDC recommends continuing to administer the vaccine. 

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 local hospitals for observation; all but one have been released. 

“We have been administering J&J vaccine here in Wake County since early March, and nationally, more than 4.5 million people have received the J&J shots,” said Wake County Medical Director Dr. Kim McDonald. “Reactions are expected, but what’s important is that our patients are here with us being monitored, and medical personnel are right here in our clinics to respond to these rare events.”

Knowing that more than 2,000 people have appointments beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 9, Wake County made the call tonight to move ahead with those appointments but to switch to the Pfizer vaccine, so those recipients would have notice of which vaccine brand they were receiving. 

Notifications were sent to everyone with an appointment at PNC Arena on Friday. Wake County encourages everyone to get the first shot available to them; however, anyone who would like to reschedule when J&J is available can use the link emailed to them or call the 24-hour vaccine hotline at 919-250-1515.

“I appreciate our excellent medical professionals always on-site to evaluate and treat those in need,” said Ryan Jury, Wake County’s Vaccine Branch Director. “We’re also thankful for our partnership with NCDHHS, which offered consultation and guidance during this pause.”

The CDC has created a smartphone-based tool called v-safe that checks in on people after their COVID-19 vaccination. After enrolling, users receive regular text messages directing them to surveys where they can report any problems or adverse reactions. V-safe allows people to quickly tell the CDC if they have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on the answers to the web surveys, someone from the CDC may call to check on the person and get more information. 
 

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