After reactions trigger a pause in J&J COVID-19 vaccines, UNC Health resumes shots with no issues


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — After briefly pausing usage of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, UNC Health resumed appointments Saturday for the single-dose shot.

On Thursday, the mass vaccine clinic at UNC’s Friday Center reported less than 10 people fainted after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

UNC Health said each person had a history of fainting. After reviewing similar cases, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) determined there were no safety concerns with the vaccine.

The Friday Center administered about 400 doses of the J & J doses on Saturday. A spokesperson for UNC Health told CBS 17 that no one experienced a reaction.

“I feel perfectly fine,” Jesse Lipes told CBS 17 after getting his shot. “My wife is pregnant with our third so we’ve got a busy schedule, and if there was a vaccine that was gonna give me the opportunity of not having to carve out a second chunk of time, I was gonna take it.”

Despite the reassurance from the CDC, Brandon and Gretchen Beasley told CBS 17 they opted to get the Pfizer vaccine instead.

“I was kind of glad I hadn’t already got it because at one time I was leaning toward getting the Johnson & Johnson because it was only one shot,” said Beasley, who got his first dose Saturday. “So, I was kind of glad I waited a little.”

Nurses at the UNC Family Medicine Clinic at Blue Ridge administered 200 doses of the J & J vaccine on Saturday.

“We’ve had no incidents today, everything has gone smoothly,” said Leslie Hopkins, regional administrator UNC Physicians Network.

Following the small number of people who experienced reactions Thursday, the vaccine clinic at the Friday Center added an observation area for patients with a history of fainting. The Family Medicine Clinic at Blue Ridge has also adjusted procedures.

“We did add an extra screening question just to make sure we’re screening appropriately,” said Hopkins. “The screening is, ‘have you ever fainted or passed out while giving blood or having a vaccine before?’ And if they answered ‘yes,’ we’re able to get them in an exam room and monitor them a little closer.”

To make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine, visit

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