The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a third COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed for use, expanding vaccine supply nationwide. FDA issued the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on February 27, 2021. An initial allocation of about 47,000 doses are expected to arrive in Wisconsin next week and be incorporated into Wisconsin’s vaccine allocation strategy.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is going to be a game changer for our statewide response to COVID-19,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “One of the biggest hurdles we have faced is supply, and this will get more vaccine into Wisconsin. This vaccine also protects people and has been shown to prevent serious illness from the virus after just one dose, which makes it more accessible to Wisconsinites and reduces the burden on our vaccine providers.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be critical to expanding Wisconsin’s vaccination efforts and reducing barriers for vaccine access. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is the first one-dose vaccine in the U.S. deemed safe and effective for the prevention of COVID-19. The vaccine has simpler storage requirements than the current vaccines. It can be kept in a refrigerator for up to three months, which allows the vaccine to be shipped directly to all areas of the state.
Similar to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is highly effective at preventing infection. All three vaccines use different technologies to do the same thing – teach our bodies how to produce a harmless version of the coronavirus’s spike protein, so our bodies can recognize it and produce an immune response to fight against illness if exposed.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is held to the same high safety standards by the FDA as the other authorized COVID-19 vaccines. The trials show it is very effective at protecting people against being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to take whichever vaccine you are offered when it is your turn,” said DHS Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake. “Vaccinations are some of the best tools we have to overcome this virus. And just one year ago, we would have been astonished and thrilled to know that we would have three effective and safe vaccines available to us.”
People can expect similar post-vaccination symptoms with all the COVID-19 vaccines, such as feeling tired, having a sore arm, swelling on the arm where you got the vaccine, and a fever. These are all indications that the vaccine is working.