Health officials closed the COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City on Wednesday afternoon after 11 people suffered side effects from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and two were taken to the area’s hospitals for observation.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Wednesday night issued a statement stressing that the side effects in patients at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – including nausea and dizziness – were “in line with what can be expected” and that the decision to close the site early was made out of an abundance of caution.
“The state has no reason to believe that people who were vaccinated today in Dick̵
Kevin Massey, a spokesman for Centura Health, which runs the site along with the state health department, said the number of people who experienced side effects was 0.8% of the 1,700 people who were vaccinated at the site on Wednesday.
State health officials noted that “in most cases, discomfort from fever or pain after vaccination is normal.”
“We followed our protocols and in an abundance of caution, we decided – in partnership with the state – to halt operations for the rest of the day,” Massey said.
Medical staff at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park site “determined that two people required additional observation,” and they were transported to area hospitals, Massey said in a statement. On-site EMTs treated the other nine people with juice and water, state officials said.
Prior to Wednesday, the federal vaccine incident reporting system had registered 10 reactions at Colorado’s community mass vaccination sites, according to the state health department.
“We are committed to providing safe community clinics, and we are so grateful that the clinic today properly observed and assisted patients with immediate side effects,” said Scott Bookman, the state’s COVID-19 incident chief, in a statement. “We know it can be alarming to hear about people being transported to the hospital, and we want to assure Coloradans that the CDC and Public Health are constantly monitoring all of the approved vaccines.”
Bookman added: “Getting a vaccine is far safer than getting seriously ill with COVID-19. That’s why I got the vaccine and why I wanted my family to get it. Based on everything we know, it is still true that the best vaccine to get is the one you can get the fastest. ”
The 640 people who were rejected Wednesday were reassigned to be vaccinated in the park Sunday, Massey said. Those now scheduled for Sunday will receive the first of two Pfizer shots, as the drugmaker’s vaccine was previously scheduled for use that day, officials said.
Anyone receiving a COVID-19 vaccine should wait 15 minutes afterwards to see if there are any side effects.
“Our goal is to continue to vaccinate Coloradans as quickly as possible while keeping our patient’s safety at the forefront,” Massey said.