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CDC finds no safety issues following limited reactions at Wake County COVID-19 vaccine event

Eighteen of the more than 2,300 people vaccinated Thursday had an adverse reaction.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Several COVID-19 vaccine providers have stopped administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after a few adverse reactions were reported on Thursday.

Wake County spokesperson Stacy Beard said 18 people had an adverse reaction to the vaccine at the PNC Arena clinic. More than 2,300 Johnson & Johnson vaccines were administered at the clinic on Thursday, meaning 0.0078% of vaccine recipients had a reaction.

People waiting to receive a vaccine at PNC Arena were offered the Pfizer vaccine or the opportunity to reschedule until the evaluation is completed.

Fourteen people who had a reaction were evaluated by Wake County EMS at PNC Arena and were treated on site. Four people were taken to a local hospital to be evaluated and are expected to be released.

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UNC Health spokesman Alan Wolf said the medical system was pausing administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at all UNC Health vaccine clinics after a small number of recipients reported feeling faint at the Friday Center on Thursday. 

NCDHHS released a statement late Thursday evening saying people may experience temporary reactions after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine such as a sore arm, headache or feeling tired and achy for a day or two and in some cases, fever. 

"In most cases, these temporary reactions are normal and are good signs that the body is building protection," NCDHHS said. 

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In addition, some people experience lightheadedness, nausea or fainting (symptoms of vasovagal syncope) after a vaccination. The CDC recommends the following prevention measures:

  • Have a beverage or snack before getting your vaccine
  • Sit or lie down after you receive your vaccine
  • Breathe slowly and deeply before getting the vaccine and think of something relaxing

NCDHHS released the following info: 

COVID-19 vaccines are tested, safe and effective. Close to 175 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the United States. The three COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Federal Food and Drug Administration are proven to help prevent COVID-19 and are effective in preventing hospitalizations and death. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine, and there were no serious safety concerns found in clinical trials.

Read more on this developing story on WRAL.com