Update April 9 9:45 a.m.: UNC Health will resume administering Johnson & Johnson vaccines Saturday, according to a statement from UNC Health. This only impacts the Hillsborough Hospital Clinic, where Moderna vaccines will still be administered.
UNC Health is looking at ways to support individuals during the vaccination process and identify those with a history of fainting around needles. It expects to continue offering Johnson & Johnson vaccines, according to the statement.
Update 10:46 p.m. This story has been updated with a statement from the NCDHHS.
Update 9:39 p.m.: This story has been updated with a statement from UNC.
UNC Health paused administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines across its clinics Thursday following adverse reactions in 4-5 patients who felt faint or light-headed at a Friday Center vaccine clinic.
Over the past two days, UNC Health has administered more than 2,200 J&J doses in patients at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill and a Hillsborough Hospital clinic, according to a statement from UNC Health.
For now, UNC Health has only paused administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines Thursday. Alan Wolf, director of local news and issues for UNC Health, said UNC Health is gathering more information and conferring with state and local health officials and plans to reassess the situation Friday.
UNC Health also offers the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
UNC's clinic in the Student Union offers Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, and this vaccine is the only type currently distributed at the Carolina Student Vaccination Clinic
The student clinic has vaccination appointments available as early as Friday at 9:10 a.m., according to the clinic's appointment scheduling form.
Campus Health will monitor the situation, but plans to keep all appointments on Friday, according to a statement from Ken Pittman, the executive director of Campus Health. He said a minimal amount of students have experienced reactions, and they are provided care on-site.
“The vaccination clinic operates with a full medical team on-site and strictly adheres to a standard 15-minute post-vaccination observation period for most students,” Pittman said.
The CDC is aware of several incidents of vaccine recipients experiencing dizziness, light headedness, feeling faint, rapid breathing and sweating, following COVID-19 vaccines in Iowa, Colorado, Georgia, and North Carolina, according to a statement from the NCDHHS.
Normal COVID-19 vaccine symptoms include sore arms, headaches, feeling tired and achy for a day or two or in some cases, a fever.
To prevent symptoms like lightheadedness, nausea and fainting, the CDC recommends:
- Having a beverage or snack before getting the vaccine
- Sitting or lying down after receiving the vaccine
- Breathing slowly and deeply before getting the vaccine
Although people may experience symptoms from the vaccine, the CDC maintains that all three COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing COVID-19, and there have been no serious safety concerns found from clinical trials.
Anyone experiencing side effects should report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, according to the statement.
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