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COVID In Colorado: Centura Health Switches From Johnson & Johnson To Pfizer And Moderna Vaccines

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - Three mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in Colorado have stopped using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are now offering Pfizer or Moderna. Saturday, 3,300 people got vaccinated in Colorado Springs.

They lined up by the thousands beneath snowcapped Pikes Peak at the Broadmoor World Arena. Signs read, "J&J vaccine canceled today, but keep your appointment and get Pfizer today."

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One woman in line said she was okay with that.

"Actually I'm pretty excited. I like the Pfizer better than Johnson & Johnson so I'm good."

The switch in vaccine came after 11 people reported adverse effects like nausea and fainting after having the J&J vaccine Wednesday at the Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City site. Similar reactions happened at other locations around the country.

CBS4's Rick Sallinger asked Peter Banko, the CEO of Centura Health which operates the sites in Commerce City and Colorado Springs, why the sudden change.

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"We are shifting to Pfizer and Moderna at our mass vaccinations sites because of a shortage of the J&J vaccine and because of the incident that happened at Dick's Sporting Goods site earlier," Banko replied.

Centura indicated it would continue use of the J&J vaccine at clinics and doctor's offices.

Banko said the CDC and FDA indicated the J&J vaccine is safe, but Banko said they want to be extremely careful.

"Out of an abundance of caution we were concerned about those reactions while you are sitting in your car or driving home," he said.

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Instead of just one shot, those going to mass vaccination drive through sites will now need two. Those who showed up didn't seem to mind.

"One more drive here isn't too much to ask" said Olivia Towns.

No adverse reactions were reported at World Arena on Saturday.

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