COVID vaccine clinic, 11 patients experienced adverse side effects

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was put on hold on Wednesday afternoon after 11 patients experienced adverse side effects after receiving the shot. Centura Health originally said 18 people were affected, but later corrected that number to 11 people.

The site was using the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen coronavirus vaccine.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says the patients experienced symptoms like nausea and dizziness. They add there is no reason to believe other people who were vaccinated at this site should be concerned.

“We’re committed to providing safe community clinics, and we are so grateful that the clinic today properly observed and helped patients with immediate side effects. We know it can be alarming to hear about people getting transported to the hospital, and we want to reassure Coloradans that the CDC and public health are closely monitoring all the authorized vaccines continually. From what we know, today’s side effects were consistent with what can be expected,” said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander. “Getting a vaccine is far safer than getting severely sick with COVID-19. It’s why I got the vaccine, and why I’ve wanted my family to get it. Based on everything we know, it remains true that the best vaccine to get is the one you can get the soonest. Thank you to everyone who had to reschedule their appointments for their patience today.”

The site is operated by Centura Health. A spokesperson said 1,777 people received the shot, with 11 experiencing adverse reactions. Centura did not say what the symptoms were, only that they were “in-line with typical reactions,” according to medical experts.

“We saw a limited number of adverse reactions to the vaccine,” said Centura spokesperson Lindsay Radford. “We followed our protocols and in an abundance of caution, made the decision – in partnership with the state – to pause operations for the remainder of the day.”

Centura says 9 people who experienced a reaction were monitored on site and sent home while two others were taken to the hospital for further observation.

A total of 640 patients were unable to receive their vaccine on Wednesday. Centura Health plans to reschedule these appointments for April 11 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Janssen is a one-dose COVID vaccine that was 63% effective in clinical trials. Possible side effects in the arm where the shot is given include pain, redness and swelling. Other side effects in the body may include tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea. The CDC said that side effects usually start within a day or two of getting the vaccine and should go away in a few days.

CDPHE says there have been 10 previous reactions at community vaccine sites before this incident, according to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. The CDC and FDA both manage the system.

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