Adverse reactions to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine: What you need to know

PITTSBURGH — There has been some concern over possible side effects from the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

People previously on the fence about getting vaccinated are now more worried, as news of some people having adverse reactions to the shot came out over the past few days.

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Georgia became the third state in a week to temporarily shut down a vaccine clinic after eight people there had bad reactions to the shot. Last week, 18 people in North Carolina reported side effects -- while 11 people in Colorado had symptoms ranging from dizziness, nausea and fainting.

But one local doctor told Channel 11 the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is very safe -- and one that he highly recommends.

“What these reactions appear to be are mainly fainting-type reactions, which is not an uncommon reaction to have after a vaccination,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University. “These clinics and these batches of vaccines have already been investigated by the CDC and not found to be unsafe in any way.”

Adalja said the side effect level is very low, and that is the reason people are made to sit 15-30 minutes after getting the shot -- to make sure they are okay.

Allegheny Health Network is still taking appointments for its vaccine clinic this week at Next Tier Connect in Monroeville. Everyone through Phase 1C is eligible to book an appointment.

“By and large, everybody does fine with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and there is no link to what happened in these clinics and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” Adalja said.

As of right now, most of those sites across the U.S. are back open and offering the J&J vaccine.