COMMERCE CITY, Colorado – Bulk vaccination operations at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City were suspended after multiple side effects from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Wednesday, according to a Centura Health spokesman.
A “limited number” of side effects to the vaccine occurred after the vaccine was administered and during on-site observation, the spokesman originally said. The spokesman later confirmed that 11 people who were vaccinated on Wednesday had a side effect. The on-site medical staff noted that two people needed additional observation and were taken to nearby hospitals as a precaution.
On Wednesday evening, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced that patients were experiencing symptoms such as nausea and dizziness. Nine of them were treated with juice and water on the spot.
According to the protocol, Centura Health, in partnership with the state, has decided to cease operations for the remainder of Wednesday.
“Our goal is to continue vaccinating Coloradans as soon as possible while keeping the safety of our patients in the foreground,” the spokesman said in a statement.
CDPHE said there was no reason to believe that people vaccinated in the field should be concerned, and side effects are usually immediate.
“We know it can be alarming to hear about people being hospitalized, and we want to assure Coloradans that the CDC and the public health are continuously monitoring all approved vaccines. As far as we know, today’s side effects coincided that match can be expected, “said Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander.” Getting a vaccine is far safer than getting seriously ill with COVID-19. “
A total of 1,700 patients were vaccinated on Wednesday. The 640 patients unable to receive the vaccine will be automatically rescheduled for Sunday April 11th at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. However, on Sunday the website will be selling Pfizer vaccines, so those who prefer a Johnson & Johnson vaccine can find other vaccination clinics here.
The situation has no impact on other vaccine providers, CDPHE says.
According to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), jointly administered by the CDC and the FDA, 10 previous responses at vaccination sites in the community were documented before Wednesday.
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The mass vaccination clinic, operated in partnership with Adams County and Centura Health, opened on March 22nd with few issues outside of a few days of long waits. The website is open Sunday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Currently, health professionals are vaccinating 2,000 or more local people every day, with the hope that once enough vaccines are available, up to 6,000 people can be served each day.
Other mass vaccination sites in the state include Ball Arena, Broadmoor World Arena, Grand Junction Convention Center, and Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, and the Ranch in Loveland.
Centura officials said in a news conference Thursday that the batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines used on Wednesday is being confiscated and investigated by the CDPHE. Officials said 11 people had reactions on Wednesday and none the previous days. The two people who were taken to the emergency room were treated and released on Wednesday.
Johnson & Johnson issued a statement discussing the side effects investigation process.
“There is no greater priority than the safety and wellbeing of the people we serve, and we carefully consider adverse event reports in those receiving our drugs and vaccines. Any report on those receiving our COVID-19 vaccine The report will be shared with the US Food and Drug Administration and other appropriate health authorities as part of the established process of informing us about the comprehensive health surveillance programs that oversee the overall safety of medicines the vaccines approved for use against this pandemic. We are collecting the necessary information, including from the local vaccination center, to evaluate these reports. “