AAHCM Statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
Wednesday, March 03, 2021 02:33 PM

COVID-19 Vaccine News: FDA Approves Third COVID-19 Vaccine by Johnson & Johnson for Emergency Use

March 3, 2021 – On February 27, 2021, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued Emergency Use Authorization for the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 single-dose vaccine in the U.S. This marks the country’s third vaccine now available to protect the public against COVID-19. Doses began shipping throughout the country the first week of March. This is important news for home care medicine providers and patient alike as the J&J vaccine offers several benefits:

  • The J&J vaccine is one dose, removing many of the delivery barriers to homebound patients, especially in more remote regions, as providers no longer have to coordinate the logistics of a second dose.

“This is good news for our homecare medicine providers as there have been numerous reports on the difficulty of getting second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to patients in the exact time interval required, at the necessary extremely cold temperatures, and with missed or canceled appointments for second doses,” said Theresa Soriano, MD, MPH, President, AAHCM.

  • Temperature stability – the J&J vaccine is stable at refrigerated temperatures and has a longer shelf life than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, allowing more healthcare facilities, including HBMC practices, the ability to maintain doses longer term. This helps to ensure the safe distribution, handling, and storage of the vaccine.
  • Efficacy – Clinical studies have shown this vaccine to be 85 percent effective[1] in preventing severe disease across all regions studied throughout the world and 74.4% effective and 72% effective in preventing moderate to severe/critical COVID-19 occurring at least 14 days and 28 days after vaccination, respectively in the United States.[2]

“While the reported efficacy rate of the J&J vaccine seems less effective than the other two vaccines, it is still extremely good and arguably comparable to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which report much higher efficacy, but under “ideal” conditions – e.g. pre-variant strains and two doses kept and administered exactly right within the correct timeframe for distribution,” noted Dr. Soriano.

  • Availability – Mass production of the J&J vaccine is underway and two million doses were shipped across the U.S. in early March. Distribution to state and local health departments is also currently underway. HBMC practices should contact their state, city, and/or local Departments of Health for specific information on how their practices and patients can access any of the three available vaccines.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe, effective at preventing severe disease, easier to manage logistically for HBMC practices, and only requires a single dose to protect patients,” added Dr. Soriano. “In fact, all three vaccines are safe and effective and HBMC providers must pursue access to whichever vaccine is available to protect as many patients as possible.”

For more information and COVID-19 resources for HBMC practices, please visit AAHCM’s COVID-19 Resource Center at www.aahcm.org/page/COVID19. Check back often as new updates and resources are added frequently.

For local information on vaccine availability, please contact your local Department of Health.


[1] Johnson & Johnson

[2] FDA