Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

This July 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium. The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.

Approximately 50,000 doses of the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine produced by Janssen, the pharmaceutical arm of Johnson and Johnson, will be headed to the Show-Me State each week, according to an announcement from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
 
The announcement comes as the state struggles to vaccinate more Missourians. To date, approximately 12.8 percent of Missourians, or nearly 785,000 people, have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the state, 6.6 percent of the state's residents have received both doses. 
 
The state is also yet to vaccine 50 percent of its senior populations, which has been the state health department's priority since the vaccinations began earlier this year. 
 
Approximately 41.9 percent of Missourians who are at least 85 years old have been vaccinated against the virus, which has claimed the lives of nearly 8,000 Missourians. Public health officials acknowledge that number of people who have died from COVID-19 could be much higher as there is at least a two month delay in the certification process that the state uses to confirm the cause of death. 
 
Less than 30 percent of Missourians who are between 75-years-old and 84-years-old have been vaccinated, while fewer than 34 percent of those between 65-years-old and 74-years-old have received a COVID-19 vaccine. 
 
Within Franklin County, 10.8 percent of the county's residents have been vaccinated. More than 2,100 doses of the vaccine have been administered in the past week, according to the state health department.
 
"We are incredibly appreciative to be receiving additional vaccines in Missouri, and we remain committed to making it available for a variety of vaccinators to get it into arms as efficiently as possible,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of the state health department. “The order issued today will authorize approved vaccinators to vaccinate using the Janssen vaccine as soon as they receive it from our federal partners." 
 
Williams continued, "We are incredibly appreciative to be receiving additional vaccines in Missouri, and we remain committed to making it available for a variety of vaccinators to get it into arms as efficiently as possible,” said Williams. “The order issued today will authorize approved vaccinators to vaccinate using the Janssen vaccine as soon as they receive it from our federal partners.”
 
The single-dose COVID-19 vaccine was authorized for emergency use for the prevention of COVID-19 in those 18 or older by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 27. It is the third COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the United States. Approximately 50,000 doses are now expected in Missouri this week.
 
"The best COVID-19 vaccine you can get is the one you are able to get the soonest after becoming eligible," said Williams. "The scientific evidence shows that the Janssen vaccine does a great job at preventing hospitalizations and deaths which is the main goal for COVID-19 vaccines."
 
Different from Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines, the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is manufactured using a specific type of virus called adenovirus type 26 (Ad26). The vaccine uses Ad26 to deliver a piece of the DNA, or genetic material that is used to make the distinctive “spike” protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While adenoviruses are a group of viruses that are relatively common, Ad26, which can cause cold symptoms and pink eye, has been modified for the vaccine so that it cannot replicate in the human body to cause illness. After a person receives this vaccine, the body can temporarily make the spike protein, which does not cause disease, but triggers the immune system to learn to react defensively, producing an immune response against SARS-CoV-2.
 
Reported side effects include pain or redness/swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, nausea and fever. Those who should not get the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine are those under age 18 and those who have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the vaccine.
 
Ingredients of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine include recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate-80, sodium chloride. Individuals who question their ability to receive this vaccine should consult with their medical provider.
 
Residents and providers are encouraged to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines in Missouri at www.MOStopsCovid.com.