Cruise lines and Florida are on track for a standoff over COVID-19 vaccine requirements

carnival cruise
The Carnival Ecstasy docked at the Port of Jacksonville on March 27, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning businesses from requiring vaccines applies to cruise lines.
  • However, several cruise lines have already announced vaccine mandates.
  • DeSantis has been vocal about the cruise industry and previously said the state would sue the CDC to bring cruises back sooner.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Florida and cruise companies could be locked in a battle over vaccine requirements as the state puts a ban on vaccine passports while cruise lines continue to mandate the jabs for passengers and crew.

On April 2, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning vaccine passports and local businesses from requiring this proof of vaccination. This ban applies to cruise lines as well, DeSantis’ press secretary Cody McCloud told Insider in an email.

“The Governor’s Executive Order provides that businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business,” McCloud told Insider in an email. “Therefore, the Executive Order prohibits cruise lines from requiring vaccine passports for their Florida operations.”

Read more: The Great GOP Migration: How South Florida became a shadow capital for Trump conservatives

However, many cruise lines have already announced some form of a vaccine requirement, whether it be for crew, guests, or both. This includes Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which recently unveiled a sweeping vaccine requirement for its Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas brand. Other cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, have held off on guest or crew requirements, instead opting to announce select “fully vaccinated” sailings.

However, major cruise lines – with the exception of those with a sweeping vaccine mandate – have withheld announcing a vaccine policy for future sailing series departing from US ports. So far, all of Royal Caribbean’s cruises operating under a vaccine order will be sailing out of international ports located in countries like Israel, Bermuda, and Cyprus.

DeSantis’ decision to prohibit cruise lines from requiring vaccines could prove to be yet another major issue for cruise companies, many of which have historically sailed out of Florida ports. But some experts have questioned DeSantis’ ability to impose such a ban upon cruise lines, according to a report from the Sun Sentinel.

This includes Jim Walker – an attorney based in South Florida with a specialization in maritime law – who told the Sun Sentinel that DeSantis may not have the jurisdiction needed to either prohibit cruise lines from enforcing a vaccine mandate or bring cruises back.

Regardless, it could be a while before we see any stand-off between the state and cruise lines interested in sailing out of Florida with a vaccine requirement.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to give cruise lines the green light to resume sailing and has shied away from enforcing an industry-wide vaccine mandate. As a result, no major cruise lines will be sailing from US ports in the near future, even if the ship is traveling with a vaccine mandate.

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Can No Jab Mean No Job?

Reading Time: 4 mins

Many people are worried about their employment rights regarding the Covid-19 vaccine. We reached out to Amanda Hamilton, Chief Executive of the non-profit National Association of Licensed Paralegals, to help explain your rights and potential issues around refusing the vaccine.

There is no law in UK which requires mandatory vaccination, as much as some anti-vaxxers claim otherwise. The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 devolves powers to Parliament to legislate in order to protect UK Citizens. The law enables Parliament to intervene in an emergency situation, such as the pandemic, and impose lockdowns and restrictions to protect citizens, but it cannot impose mandatory vaccinations. In other words, there is no power to make vaccinations mandatory.

This creates a plethora of issues, from human rights to equality, and balances them against the rights of others to be safe in their workplace. In addition, it raises issues around the possible criminal implications of forcing someone to be vaccinated against their will.

  1. Potential Criminal Implications
  2. Human Rights and Equality
  3. Can an Employee Be Dismissed for Refusing the Vaccine?
  4. A Safe Environment for Others
  5. A Reasonable Solution
  6. Does an Employee Have to Tell Their Employer?
  7. More Legal Articles

Potential Criminal Implications

Potential criminal implications of forcing a Covid-19 vaccine

The Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 s20 states that an unlawful wounding would occur if a person were forced to have a vaccination against their will. A wound means ‘a break of the skin’. This statute still remains in force today.

Human Rights and Equality

Compulsory medical treatment or testing is contrary to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights meaning that it is a human right to refuse medical treatment if you wish to do so. Refusing medical treatment could be because of deeply held religious or other beliefs, and this brings into play the Equality Act 2010. This statute states an individual is protected from discrimination from nine possible characteristics including: age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sex.

So, an employer cannot force an employee to be vaccinated.

Can an Employee Be Dismissed for Refusing the Vaccine?

The short answer is no. If they were, then it would amount to an unfair dismissal and the employee could justifiably take the employer to an employment tribunal for discrimination. The case would be brought under the Equality Act 2010 in that the claimant’s refusal to be vaccinated is founded on a fundamental belief or on religious grounds. It would of course, be for the claimant to prove that she/he has such beliefs.

The situation would be the same if the claimant felt that they were being victimised, because of their belief, to such an extent that they felt that they could not continue being in the employ of the employer, and consequently, resigned. This would amount to constructive dismissal. The result being the same as if the employer had dismissed the employee – an employment tribunal case could ensue for unfair dismissal.

A Safe Environment for Others

Can an employee refuse the Covid-19 vaccine?

So how can an employer manage such a situation if there is a statutory duty to provide a safe environment for employees in the workplace? The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 places the responsibility on employers to protect the ‘health, safety and welfare’ at work of all employees and includes others on the premises such as temps, contractors and visitors.

This appears to be in contradiction to the premise that it is an individual’s right to refuse the vaccine. The only way to manage this is to impose certain guidelines on employees such as those we are all asked to follow during the current pandemic, e.g. social distancing, mask wearing and sanitising/hand washing etc.

Of course, all this does depend on job that an employee is employed to do. For example, working in an office environment, following government guidelines may work reasonably well. However, if the employee that is refusing to accept the vaccine is working in social care or in medical care with vulnerable patients, then the standards may change. Being on the front line in such a situation may well mean that refusal to be vaccinated may place those who have not yet been vaccinated (perhaps due to age, medical conditions, or access), as well as themselves, at risk.

A Reasonable Solution

In these circumstances, it may be prudent to find alternative work for the employee until it is safe for them to return. A reasonable solution such as this should be acceptable to an employee.

If the employee doesn’t find it acceptable, they might bring an unfair dismissal case against the employer on the basis of discrimination. A Tribunal hearing such a case weighs up the rights of the employee to refuse the vaccine, taking into account the nature of their work, the alternatives offered, and how many others would be put at risk. In other words, they would look at the situation and apply a test of reasonability.

Does an Employee Have to Tell an Employer?

If the employer can demonstrate that asking staff to be vaccinated is a reasonable management instruction, then asking them for this information will also be reasonable. However, just as you can’t force them to be vaccinated, you also can’t force them to reveal their vaccination status.

Again, equality laws will come into play if there is a risk that revealing their vaccination status will result in discrimination within the workplace.

If they do agree to tell, then this will constitute sensitive personal health data and the organisation will need to comply with GDPR. The same applies to information about who has not been vaccinated and why.

The best policy is one of clear communication. Employers should explain why they’d like staff to be vaccinated and why they’d like the information about their status. An employer should give the opportunity to discuss this privately and look at ways to mitigate the risks and offer alternative working options. This way, as an employer, you have done your best to provide the right working environment, have kept staff informed and engaged in the process and ultimately reduced the chances of a successful Tribunal claim, should it unfortunately come to that.

More Legal Tips

The post Can No Jab Mean No Job? appeared first on MoneyMagpie.

Fauci says J&J vaccine pause will likely only last ‘days to weeks,’ not ‘weeks to months’

fauci vaccine covid
Dr. Anthony Fauci directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine pause should not last long.
  • “It’s gonna be more like days to weeks rather than weeks to months,” Fauci said of the delay.
  • Fauci added that this step should assure Americans the government is being transparent.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause will not cause a protracted delay and should only last “days to weeks,” according to his understanding of the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

“What I heard from the previous press discussion was it’s gonna be more like days to weeks rather than weeks to months,” Fauci said when asked about the extent of the delay at a White House press briefing.

The vaccine rollout was paused on Tuesday over blood clot reports, with the CDC and FDA investigating the small number of negative reactions “out of an abundance of caution.”

Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA’s acting commissioner, told reporters earlier in the day that she expects the halt to be temporary.

“We expect it to be a matter of days for this pause,” Woodcock said.

Fauci also pointed to the remote likelihood of similar blood clots occurring for most patients, with the pause centered around six J&J recipients experiencing the problem out of more than 6.8 million doses that have been delivered in the US.

“So someone who maybe had it a month or two ago would say, ‘What does this mean for me?'” Fauci said. “It really doesn’t mean anything. You’re OK because when you look at the time frame of when this occurs, it’s pretty tight, from a few days – six to 13 days – from the time of vaccination.”

As Insider’s Aria Bendix recently reported, Johnson & Johnson has also faced manufacturing issues and reports of fainting at vaccination sites, but the fear of blood clots is likely overblown and does not impact the efficacy of the vaccine.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Johnson & Johnson drops after US health officials call for pause in use of company’s COVID-19 vaccine

johnson & johnson vaccine
Administering a COVID-19 vaccine in Reading, Pennsylvania.

  • Johnson & Johnson shares fall Tuesday after the US FDA and CDC called for a pause in using J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine.
  • There were reports of a “rare and severe” type of blood clotting in six people who received J&J’s vaccine, including one fatality.
  • Shares of rival vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer climbed after the joint announcement.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson fell Tuesday after the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention jointly recommended a pause in the use of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine as they review reported cases of blood clots in people who had received the shots.

The FDA said the agencies are reviewing data involving cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in six women after they received the vaccine. The agencies in a joint media call said one case was fatal and one person is in critical condition. At least 6.8 million doses of J&J’s vaccine have been administered in the US.

“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” said the FDA and CDC.

Separately, J&J said Tuesday it will ‘proactively’ delay the rollout of its vaccine in Europe.

J&J shares fell 2.2% and declined by as much as 3.5% during the premarket session. J&J shares put pressure on the Dow Jones Industrial Average which slumped by more than 100 points. Meanwhile, shares of rival vaccine makers jumped after the news. Moderna shares surged 7.5% and Pfizer climbed by 1%.

The CDC said the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to further review the clotting cases and assess their potential significance and the FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates.

“Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause,” the agencies said in the statement. “This is important to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”

J&J shares have risen by more than 10% over the past 12 months.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The US recommended suspending the Johnson & Johnson vaccine just as Europe was about to start using it

johnson and johnson covid vaccine
Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine is delivered as a single shot, while both Pfizer and Moderna’s require two jabs.

  • The US suspended use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while it reviews cases of blood clots.
  • The news came as European countries were getting ready to roll out their first doses.
  • The European Medicines Agency is also investigating the cases of rare blood clots.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Europe had just started receiving doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when the US announced it would be suspending its use to investigate cases of blood clots.

J&J is aiming to deliver 55 million doses of the vaccine to the 27 EU member states, plus Norway and Iceland, by the end of June, EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton has said.

For the following quarter, the target is 120 million doses. It is a single-shot vaccine, so requires half as many doses as the Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca shots.

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson said that they would be delaying their roll out of the vaccine in Europe.

Here is the situation in Europe with Johnson & Johnson:

  • Sweden said Tuesday it would review plans to use the vaccine in light of the US announcement.
  • The Dutch medical regulator said it would continue its rollout, arguing that the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • France received its first doses of the Johnson &Johnson vaccine on Monday, and will be offering the vaccine to everyone over the age of 55, France 24 reported on Monday.
  • Germany is expecting 275,000 doses this week, Health Minister Jens Spahn has said.
  • Spain expects 300,000 Johnson & Johnson shots on Wednesday, and will first administer the vaccines to those aged 70 to 79, DW reported. On Tuesday, the Spanish prime minister said that the benefits of the vaccine outweight its risk, but that authorities would slow down the roll out of the vaccine.
  • Belgium said on Tuesday it would keep using the shot. The country received its first shipment, 36,000 doses, on Monday.
  • Ireland should receive 605,000 doses by the end of June.

The US CDC and FDA both recommended immediate suspension of the use of the vaccine while 6 reports of blood clots were being investigated. So far 6.8 million doses of J&J vaccine have been used in the US.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Friday that it was closely reviewing the US cases.

Johnson & Johnson had initially planned to deliver its first doses in early April but faced production issues, Reuters reported. The vaccine was approved for use in Europe on March 11.

The African Union has also ordered 400 million doses of the J&J vaccine, 220 millions of which are expected to be delivered from June.

Australia, by contrast, has said that it would not be ordering doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, because of its similarities to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

On Wednesday, the EMA listed unusual blood clots as a adverse side effect of the vaccine.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Pfizer vaccine may be less effective against South African and UK coronavirus variants, according to Israeli study

pfizer vaccine
vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine are prepared to be administered to front-line health care workers under an emergency use authorization at a drive up vaccination site from Renown Health in Reno, Nevada on December 17, 2020.

  • An Israeli study found that the Pfizer vaccine may not provide full protection against the South African strain.
  • Fully vaccinated patients saw protection against a surging UK strain, but partially vaccinated patients did not.
  • Israel has the world’s fastest vaccine roll-out, but has excluded Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territories.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Coronavirus variants first found in South Africa and the UK are able to partially “breakthrough” the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, according to an Israeli study that studied real-world infection data. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.

The study, released on Saturday, compared the incidences of both variants between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients who had tested positive for the coronavirus. The study, conducted by Tel Aviv University and Israeli healthcare provider Clalit tracked almost 400 people, and counted both partially vaccinated (one dose) and fully vaccinated (two dose) patients.

The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to be eight times more prevalent among vaccinated patients while the UK strain, B.1.1.7, was more prevalent among partially vaccinated patients, though the fully-vaccinated showed increased protection against the UK strain.

The study suggests that the Pfizer vaccine provides less protection against the South African variant than the original coronavirus, but it is not able to actually conclude that because it is focused on those who have already tested positive for the virus, not total infection rates.

Roughly 80% of Israel’s population is vaccinated, with almost 53% of the population having received both Pfizer doses. The study found that only 1% of total cases in the study were the South African variant, a promising sign for Israel, the most vaccinated country.

Israel’s vaccine totals do not include Palestinians. Israel occupies the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza, and has rolled out the vaccine much more slowly in Palestinian territories, claiming that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the distribution of vaccines.

Earlier this month, a Palestinian student studying at Tel Aviv University in Israel won the right to be vaccinated after being turned away from a school vaccination site and then suing. Israel has just recently begun to vaccinate Palestinians.

In data released on April 1, Pfizer and Biotech found that their shot was 91% effective at preventing COVID-19 and showed early signs of preventing the spread of the B.1.351 strain as well. Earlier lab trials had suggested that the vaccine provides some protection against the strain, but not full protection.

Read the original article on Business Insider

European regulators are watching J&J’s vaccine for unusual blood clots

Registered Nurse Robert Orallo administers the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Blood Bank of Alaska in Anchorage on March 19, 2021.

  • European regulators are investigating whether Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine could cause blood clots.
  • The investigation was opened after four cases were reported, including one fatality.
  • J&J’s vaccine was authorized for European distribution last month, but hasn’t been given out yet.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

European regulators are investigating whether Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine caused unusual blood clotting after four cases were reported in vaccine recipients, including one fatality.

The European Medicines Agency’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee disclosed Friday that they are reviewing the vaccine after three people who received J&J’s vaccine in the US and another who was involved in a clinical trial developed blood clots. It’s currently not clear if the vaccine caused these clots.

J&J said that it was working closely with experts and regulators to assess data coming in, but that so far, they have found a small number of very rare side effects.

The investigation comes as European states prepare to add the vaccine to their roster of COVID-19 shots. J&J’s vaccine was recommended for authorization by the EMA on March 11, but has not yet been distributed.

Approximately 4.9 million doses of J&J’s vaccine have been administered in the US, according to the CDC.

It’s not the first time the link between vaccines and blood clots has been investigated

The EMA has been closely watching reports of blood clots linked to another vaccine: AstraZeneca’s two-dose immunization.

The agency stated Wednesday that blood clots can be a “very rare” side effect of AstraZeneca’s shot in people with low blood platelet levels. Approximately 169 cases of blood clots in the brain and 53 cases of blood clots in the spleen had been reported as of April 4, according to the EMA.

Cases of blood clots have also reported in patients who had received Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines, a J&J spokesperson said in a statement.

Issues have been popping up as J&J’s shot has rolled out in the US.

One of the factories that produces both drug companies’ vaccines is in hot water after it was reported by the New York Times that 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine had been cross-contaminated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine at a U.S. factory run by Emergent BioSolutions. None of those shots were distributed to the public.

Officials in Colorado and North Carolina stopped giving out J&J’s vaccine this week after two dozen people experienced minor adverse reactions like nausea and dizziness.

J&J’s stock traded down about 1% on Friday morning.

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Experts are worried about the rise of vaccine skepticism


Welcome to Insider Healthcare. I’m Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer, and this week in healthcare news:

If you’re new to this newsletter, sign up here. Tips, comments? Email me at or tweet @lydiaramsey125. Now, let’s get to it…

First, some personal news – I got my first vaccine dose this week! As eligibility expands across the US, I’m excited to keep cheering on everyone who’s getting a dose (or two!).

As the mRNA started to tell my body how to mount an immune response, I read up on what Dr. Anthony Fauci told Aylin Woodward in an exclusive interview about vaccines.

Veran France vaccination health minister AstraZeneca
French Health Minister Olivier Veran receives a dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine.

Oh, AstraZeneca…

It was another tough week for the vaccine from AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

European regulators said on Wednesday that they consider rare blood clots that can be fatal a side effect of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine.

Also on Wednesday, UK regulators cited the rare blood clots as a reason why people under 30 should no longer be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Germany and France are recommending that some people who got a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine switch to a different immunization for their second shots.

In the wake of the European regulators’ decision, we talked to experts to find out what they make of the rare side effect.

Their biggest worry is around the skepticism that’s growing around the vaccine.

Find out more>>

Getting AstraZeneca’s shot is safer than flying on a plane, experts say – the bigger problem is an ‘explosion of vaccine skepticism’

healthcare ceos 4x3

CEOs’ big paydays

Health insurance and health systems CEOs scored major paydays in 2020, despite a tumultuous year.

HCA’s CEO took home $83.6 million, and Cigna’s CEO made nearly $79 million.

Speaking of health insurers – the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday said who it plans to work with in the first year of the direct contracting program.

It’s a lot of familiar names, like Clover Health, Oak Street Health, and more.

Also included is Humana, whose CEO is one of the 8 whose compensation we break down for 2020.

See the full chart>>

How 8 top healthcare execs scored massive paydays despite the pandemic


The state of the digital weight loss industry

This week, Patricia Kelly Yeo took a closer look at the digital weight loss industry.

Investors have put millions into app-based approaches to weight loss. But experts Kelly talked to aren’t convinced it’s anything all that new.

These apps are hoping to gain popularity at a time when the weight loss market is shrinking.

Check it out>>

A new wave of digital weight loss companies are raking in millions in funding by relying on decades-old psychology principles, experts say

I’ll leave you with a new spot to find the pitch decks we’ve reported on over the years.

From seed and Series A to late-stage funding, here are the presentations healthcare startups used to raise millions from top VCs.

– Lydia

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Some countries are recommending that people mix vaccine doses to avoid taking a second AstraZeneca shot amid concerns over blood clots

Veran France vaccination health minister AstraZeneca
French Health Minister Olivier Véran, 40, getting a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on February 8.

  • Germany and France both say that mixing two types of coronavirus vaccine can be effective.
  • They are recommending that some who took a first dose of AstraZeneca get a different second shot.
  • Several countries are dialing back use of the AstraZeneca shot, fearing very rare but dangerous blood clots.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Countries are beginning to explore an usual way of using coronavirus vaccines, in order to avoid giving some groups a second dose of the AstraZeneca shot: mixing and matching with another type of vaccine.

Germany and France have both recommended that some groups take a different second dose, citing a link between the AstraZeneca shot and very rare blood clots. Canada and Norway are considering doing the same.

Germany recommended on April 1 that those under 55 receive an mRNA vaccine alternatives, such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as a follow up shot. France recommended the same on Friday for people under the age of 60.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Wednesday that unusual blood clots with low platelets should be listed as a “very rare side effect” of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The EMA says that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its risks, and experts say that a definite link between the shot and the blood clots has not been established.

Canadian health authorities are examining the evidence for dose mixing, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said on Thursday.

Norway is awaiting the results of a clinical trial assessing the effectiveness of mixing vaccines before making a decision, Reuters reported.

Separately from recommending dose-mixing, countries using the AstraZeneca vaccine are changing their recommendations to avoid giving it to younger populations.

Germany, France, Canada, Australia, the UK, and the Philippines are among them.

Although it is not widely recommended yet for COVID-19 vaccines, mixing doses from different manufacturers is not unusual, one expert said.

“Mixing different manufacturers vaccines is called ‘heterologous prime boost’ and is something that has been looked into long before COVID,” Prof. Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, told Insider in an email.

It “often appears to give better protection,” although it is not known whether this holds true in the case of COVID-19, Hunter said.

“Personally, I would not worry too much”, he said, but “before recommending this on a wider scale I would prefer to await the results” of trials like the one Norway is watching.

The UK is not recommending dose-mixing, and says that people who have taken one shot of AstraZeneca’s vaccine should go ahead and get the second.

Health experts told Insider that in spite of the unusual blood clots being listed as a very rare side effect of the vaccine, getting the shot is still safer than flying in a plane.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Officials in Colorado and North Carolina pause distribution of J&J vaccine after minor adverse reactions

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ATHENS, OHIO, UNITED STATES – 2021/03/09: Athens City-County Health Department Director of Nursing, Crystal Jones, 52, loads syringes with the vaccine on the first day of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine being made available to residents. The Athens City-County Health Department collaborated with Ohio University to roll out the new Johnson & Johnson (COVID-19) Vaccine, which only requires one shot instead of two.

  • Less than 1% of Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients experienced adverse reactions this week.
  • But officials in Colorado and North Carolina are pausing their use of the shot.
  • An investigation is underway to see if there is an issue with the batch being used.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Officials in Colorado and North Carolina are pausing distribution of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine after a few people experienced minor adverse reactions this week.

As The Denver Post reported Wednesday, 11 people experienced reactions after receiving the J&J shot at a mass-vaccination clinic in Commerce City, just north of Denver. With over 1,700 having being given the vaccine that day, that comes out to less than 1%.

On Thursday, Peter Banko, CEO of Centura Health, which was distributing the vaccines, said the company would pause while public health officials investigate whether there is an issue with the batch, The Post’s Meg Wingerter reported.

There were no issues earlier in the week, Wingerter noted.

In North Carolina, public health officials in Wake County reported 14 people – out of more than 2,300 – experienced adverse reactions on Thursday. “Currently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are analyzing the vaccine lot and expect to issue guidance within the next two hours,” county officials said Thursday evening.

The reactions, while minimal, come after Johnson & Johnson was forced to scrap some 15 million doses due to a manufacturing error at a plant in Baltimore.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson told Insider it takes any adverse reactions seriously, saying it will “carefully assess the events” and share any findings with the Food and Drug Administration.

“There is no greater priority than the safety and well-being of the people we serve,” the company said.

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