Side effects of J&J shot no cause for concern, experts say

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Side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine seen at vaccination sites in Colorado, North Carolina and Georgia last week are "absolutely trivial" and shouldn't be a cause for concern, experts told Insider April 10. 

Vaccination sites in the three states were temporarily closed after about 45 people had minor adverse reactions, including nausea, dizziness, fainting and lightheadedness. 

Most of the reactions occurred within 15 minutes of the person receiving a vaccine, public health officials reported. Seven people were taken to hospitals, and as of April 9, all but one had been released, and everyone is expected to fully recover, according to Insider

Art Caplan, PhD, a bioethicist at New York University, told Insider the reactions were "absolutely trivial."

"You don't want to be fueling unnecessary worries about the safety of vaccines when you're still seeing an enormous outbreak and death rates all over the world from COVID," he said. 

Though nausea and fainting aren't common reactions to COVID-19 vaccines, they aren't abnormal, according to Insider

"When you see these clusters [of side effects], they usually are worked out and have no relation to the vaccine," Arnold Monto, MD, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, told Insider.

Experts haven't figured out why the clusters of side effects were identified in a short time frame, but have emphasized that there's no reason to be concerned about the Johnson & Johnson shot. 

Georgia's public health commissioner, Kathleen Toomey, said in a news release that the state is looking into what may have caused the reactions, "including the conditions at the [vaccination site], such as heat and the ability to keep the site cool." 

Dr. Caplan also told Insider it's possible the people who felt dizzy or nauseous were elderly or had underlying health conditions that predisposed them to adverse reactions. 

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