Skip to main content

Military Health System

Test of Sitewide Banner

This is a test of the sitewide banner capability. In the case of an emergency, site visitors would be able to visit the news page for addition information.

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine returns to Military Health System

Image of Military personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Navy Hospitalman Jared Houchen, Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji Branch Health Annex, Gotenba, Shizuoka, Japan, administers the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to a Marine at the installation March 16. CATC Camp Fuji, which sees a high number of transient training units, was the first installation in Japan to administer the single-dose vaccine (Photo by: Katie Gray, Marine Corps Installations Pacific).

Doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine are now available to those in the Military Health System eligible and authorized to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, said Air Force Col. Jennifer Garrison, DOD COVID-19 Vaccine Program Operation Team Lead for the Department of Defense.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the greenlight to resuming use of the Janssen (also called Johnson & Johnson) vaccine April 23.

Aligning to the CDC, the MHS plan was subsequently approved by the White House and the CDC, Garrison said.

Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place said: "We have full confidence that the J&J vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 and that the data shows the vaccine's known potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks."

The vaccine received FDA emergency use authorization Feb. 27 and was put on pause by the FDA and the CDC April 13 due to a small instance of those vaccinated with the Janssen product developing a rare, but serious blood clotting disorder that has now been named Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).

TTS occurred at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between the ages of 18 and 49. For women 50 and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare.

FDA has added a warning to the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorization and fact sheets regarding the clotting events, CDC said. As of April 23, TTS had not been linked to the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.

As of April 21, approximately 7.98 million doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the United States, the CDC said in a report released April 27.

More than 2.62 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines have been given to those eligible and authorized within the Military Health System (MHS), and more than 438,000 have been administered to MHS beneficiaries at retail pharmacies and other non-DOD sites, Place explained during a news conference April 21.

The Janssen vaccine makes up less than 3% of the doses provided to the Department of Defense, according to the DOD.

So far, Place said, there have been no cases reported in the military of the blood clotting serious adverse event, but data are being reviewed.

Out of an abundance of caution, CDC said it would review the Janssen data through its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The committee met April 14 and decided to keep the pause in vaccinations in place while it further reviewed the data from the Janssen large-scale clinical trials and the adverse events. On April 23, the ACIP recommended the restart of Janssen vaccinations.

A review of all available data shows that the one-shot Janssen COVID-19 vaccine's "known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks for those recommended to receive it," the CDC announced April 25.

However, "women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare but increased risk of the TTS adverse event, and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen," CDC said.

People who have received the Janssen vaccine who develop severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider, the CDC said.

The pause allowed the CDC to re-emphasize with health care providers the importance of reporting severe events in people who have received this vaccine, as well as how to report such events. The pause also gave experts time to carefully review all available data and conduct a risk-benefit analysis of the vaccine.

Military vaccination sites have continued local planning and messaging for reintroduction of the Janssen vaccine. Any products or processes that need to be changed based on the CDC's April 27 "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" and its clinicians' briefing will be finalized April 28, Garrison said. The DHA Director's directive to resume vaccinations with any additional guidance or changes required will be produced and published.

The Janssen vaccine is a replication-deficient adenovirus-vectored vaccine like the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, which has not yet received FDA emergency use authorization.

This means it uses a different virus, such as measles or adenovirus, which is genetically engineered so that it can produce coronavirus proteins in the body and trigger the immune system to make antibodies against those proteins.

The viruses used in viral-vector vaccines are weakened or inactivated, so they cannot cause disease or harm humans. Viral-vector vaccines are also relatively fragile and must be maintained at temperatures that allow them to remain intact to work optimally.

The resource center on the Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen vaccines provides a plethora of information for MHS health care professionals.


You also may be interested in...

How COVID-19 Public Health Emergency’s End Affects TRICARE

Article Around MHS
Immunization Clinic photo

The Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 expired at the end of May 11. You might be wondering what this means about the state of COVID-19 or if there are changes to your TRICARE coverage.

COVID-19 Registry Provides Pandemic Response Insights, Optimizes Patient Care

COVID-19 Registry Provides Pandemic Response Insights, Optimizes Patient Care

Prior to the pandemic, the DOD began deploying MHS GENESIS, the new federal electronic health record, to improve health care outcomes for our service members, veterans, and their families. Critical enterprise needs quickly came to light to combat the impacts of the COVID-19 disease.

Navy’s Global Engagement Helps Identify and Mitigate Disease

Navy’s Global Engagement Helps Identify and Mitigate Disease

In support of the Military Health System, the Naval Medical Research Unit-2 is just one global entity that works with local partners to identify and combat global health threats.

Genome Sequencing Assists Research at Naval Health Research Center

Lab technicians doing genome research

Learn how unique samples from naval vessels, US-Mexico border populations, and DOD beneficiaries aided in the Naval Health Research Center’s sequencing efforts.

U.S. Military HIV Research Lends Lessons Learned to COVID-19

Gloved hands working in laboratory

The U.S. military has engaged in HIV research for three decades, contributing critical lessons learned, knowledge, and expertise during the COVID-19 research and vaccine development effort.

Naval Medical Research Center Uses Genome Sequencing for Variants

Military personnel pose for a group photo

NMRC’s efforts provided important support for sequencing and viral isolation to the Department of Defense and Military Health System.

USAMRIID Focuses on Genome Sequencing to Detect Variants

Military medical personnel in laboratory

A connected family of laboratories across the MHS allows a more rapid response to the outbreak.

Whole Genome Sequencing at Tripler Army Medical Center

Dr. Keith Fong reviews data with other lab technicians

The third installment in a 6-part series highlighting the efforts of the Military Health System laboratories and the technicians who worked to identify COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Implements SARS-CoV-2 Genome Sequencing

Military medical personnel in laboratory

This is the second article in a 6-part series that highlights the work of technicians and scientists in Military Health System laboratories who worked to identify COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

Protect Yourself With Respiratory Illnesses on the Rise

Article Around MHS
Military medical personnel administering vaccine

"Tis the season, and respiratory illnesses are on the rise. Learn critical health guidance about the viral triple threat of COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold, and the commonsense steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Military Labs Use Whole Genome Sequencing of COVID-19 Variants

Lab technician at work

The first in a 6-part series highlighting the work of technicians and scientists working in support of the MHS who identified COVID-19 variants using special sequencing technology.

DOD Reduces Health Care Waste by Reusing Crutches

Military personnel using crutches

When military facilities faced a national shortage of an essential mobility aid, they launched a grassroots initiative that not only ensured patient care, but also created a new waste reduction model within the DHA.

MHS Minute | Nov 2022

MHS Minute | Nov 2022

The latest MHS Minute focuses on highlights from DHA Director Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place’s final virtual town hall with the workforce, Nov. 16, 2022. The discussion included the agency’s biggest accomplishments over the past three years and the impact of COVID-19 on DHA’s reputation and approach to health care delivery.

Flu Season’s Here: You Still Can Get Your Flu Shot for Protection

Flu Week Infographic

It’s not too late to get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19.

Naval Medical Research Center Joint Study with Mount Sinai Uncovers Differences in COVID-19 Immune Response between the Sexes

Article Around MHS
Amanda Cherry, research assistant, performing diagnostic testing at NMRC

A collaborative study between researchers at Naval Medical Research Center and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Princeton University has highlighted immune response differences in the coronavirus infection responses between male and female patients.

Page 1 of 25 , showing items 1 - 15
First < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > Last 
Refine your search
Last Updated: May 04, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery