The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may be linked to fainting and other anxiety-related events, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC examined five vaccination sites and found that 17 patients had fainted after receiving the vaccine.
The CDC further analyzed data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and found 653 reports of fainting after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That is a rate of 8.5 per 100,000. By comparison, the rate is 0.5 per 100,000 among those receiving the flu vaccine.
It is not clear how serious the fainting events are. As the CDC noted, “anxiety-related events, including [fainting], can occur immediately after vaccination with any vaccine and might be caused by anxiety about receiving an injection.” Only 17 of the 653 fainting events were classified as serious.
To address the possibility of fainting, the agency said that providers should monitor vaccine recipients for 15 minutes after the shot is administered. That’s already standard for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Other anxiety-related events occurred at the five vaccination sites, including lightheadedness or dizziness, nausea or vomiting, and chest pain.
This follows the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration last week lifting a pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after it had been linked to 15 cases of blood clots.
The pause went into effect on April 13. The pause was lifted after the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the body within the CDC charged with making recommendations on vaccines, voted to recommend its resumption.