Centura Health won’t offer J&J vaccine at drive-thru sites due to driver safety concerns

COVID-19 Vaccine

DENVER (KDVR) — Centura Health says it will no longer offer the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at three drive-thru vaccination sites, in part, due to concerns about people driving if they have a bad reaction to the shot. 

The health care system also cites a projected shortage of the J&J vaccine.

This week, 11 people reported reactions soon after getting the J&J vaccine at the drive-thru location at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. Symptoms included feeling dizzy and nauseous, according to health officials. Two people were sent to the hospital, officials say.

“So while those are normal vaccine reactions when we are sitting on a physician table in a doctor’s office, they’re not normal when you’re sitting in the front seat of your car driving home,” CEO and president of Centura Health, Peter D. Banko, said.

Banko says symptoms are in line with a typical anxiety-related response to getting any vaccine; However, he stresses that health officials are waiting on more details from the FDA and CDC.

In the past week, three other states have reported similar incidents with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, including North Carolina, Georgia and Iowa.

Centura Health says they did not see adverse reactions to the J&J vaccine until Wednesday. Anyone who had an appointment to get the J&J vaccine at one of its mass vaccination drive-thru clinics can get the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at their same appointment time. Then, a second dose appointment will be automatically made 21 days out at the same time and from the same location, officials say.

Officials stress the J&J vaccine is still considered safe and effective, and Centura Health will continue offering the vaccine at its offices.

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