Georgia vaccine site is at least fourth in US to pause Johnson & Johnson COVID shots

Tanasia Kenney
·2 min read

A COVID-19 vaccination site in Georgia has paused giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after multiple people reported “adverse reactions,” according to state health officials.

The Georgia Department of Health said at least eight people had adverse reactions after getting the shot Wednesday at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

One person was treated at the hospital and released, and the others were evaluated at the vaccination site and sent home, officials said.

Georgia health officials did not give details about the reactions. They said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating similar reports of adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine in at least three other states: Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina.

In North Carolina on Thursday, officials paused the Johnson & Johnson shots at a mass vaccination site in Raleigh and also at clinics in two other cities after people reported adverse reactions, including fainting, The News & Observer reported.

The CDC has said there were no safety issues with the vaccines in North Carolina.

Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia’s top health official, said Friday “there’s no reason to believe there’s anything wrong with the vaccine.”

“Other individuals who have received the J&J vaccine should not be concerned,” Toomey said in a statement Friday. “We are looking into what happened and what may have caused the reactions, including the conditions at the fairgrounds such as heat and the ability to keep the site cool.”

The state health department said 425 doses were administered at the Cumming site Wednesday, and reactions “were consistent with common reactions in adults being vaccinated with any vaccine.”

Common side effects with any vaccine include arm soreness, low-grade fever and headaches, among other symptoms, according to the CDC.

In Colorado, state health officials said they found no issues with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after some people reported adverse reactions at a mass vaccination site on Wednesday, the Denver Post reported.