March 11, 2021

A third COVID-19 vaccine: What you should know

The vaccine developed by Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson company, requires only one dose and is remarkably effective.

We are encouraged by the approval of another safe and effective vaccine to help control and eventually end the COVID-19 pandemic.

On February 27, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson company. Our infectious disease doctors and other clinical experts have reviewed the J&J/Janssen vaccine data to ensure we are prepared to administer the vaccine safely. This review process also happened when the FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and will occur each time a new vaccine is authorized.

As Kaiser Permanente works to vaccinate as many people as possible, as supplies allow, here’s what you should know about the new vaccine.

Vaccine effectiveness

The single-dose J&J/Janssen vaccine is authorized for people age 18 and older. According to FDA findings among clinical trial participants, the vaccine was:

  • 85% effective in preventing severe/critical COVID-19 when measured 28 days or more after vaccination
  • 100% effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19

“For a COVID-19 vaccine to receive emergency use authorization from the FDA, the manufacturer needs to prove it is safe and can prevent disease or decrease disease severity in at least 50% of people who are vaccinated,” said Stephen Parodi, MD, national infectious disease leader at Kaiser Permanente. “The J&J/Janssen vaccine beat this benchmark, making it a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19.”

All COVID-19 vaccines reduce your risk, so take the first one you can get

To protect yourself and help our communities achieve large-scale immunity, it’s important to get vaccinated as soon you are eligible with any of the 3 authorized COVID-19 vaccines.

“If the J&J/Janssen vaccine is made available to you, we strongly recommend that you get vaccinated and not put yourself at risk by choosing to wait for another option,” said Dr. Parodi.

Continue healthy behaviors

While experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, keep up the healthy habits that protect yourself and others. By wearing a mask, washing your hands, staying at least 6 feet away from others in public, and getting vaccinated when you’re eligible, you’ll be doing your part to help end the pandemic.  

For general vaccine information, members and nonmembers can call our KP COVID Vaccine InfoLine at 1-855-550-0951, available 24/7.

Find the latest information on vaccine eligibility and how to get vaccinated when you’re eligible at kp.org/covidvaccine. Kaiser Permanente members can also download the kp.org app for convenient access to information.