February 28, 2021 – Today, I signed CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that endorsed the safety and effectiveness of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)’s COVID-19 vaccine and its use in people age 18 and older.
This official CDC recommendation — which follows Saturday’s FDA decision to authorize emergency use of the vaccine — is another milestone toward an end to the pandemic.
As vaccination scales up, so too does our nation’s overall protection from serious outcomes due to COVID-19. The Janssen vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death.
This vaccine is also another important tool in our toolbox to equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. As a one-dose vaccine, people do not have to return for a second dose to be protected. In addition, this vaccine does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerated temperatures — so it is easy to transport and store and allows for expanded availability in most community settings and mobile sites, as supply scales up.
This third safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine comes at a potentially pivotal time. CDC’s latest data suggest that recent declines in COVID-19 cases may be stalling and potentially leveling off at still very high numbers. That is why it is so critical that we remain vigilant and consistently take all of the mitigation steps we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19 while we work our way toward mass vaccination.
I know that many Americans look forward to rolling up their sleeves with confidence as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is available to them. Having different types of vaccines available for use, especially ones with different dosing recommendations and storage and handling requirements, can offer more options and flexibility for the public, jurisdictions and vaccine providers. Getting vaccinated with the first vaccine available to you will help protect all of us from COVID-19.