The HTAC recommends the emergency use of Janssen Ad26.COV2.S (COVID-19) Vaccine to prevent COVID-19 for persons aged 18 and older.

Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine under Emergency Use

The emergency use authorization of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (dated 16 April 2021)  allows for timely access of COVID-19 vaccines for Filipinos during the pandemic. This assures the public that the COVID-19 vaccine has passed the quality, safety, and efficacy criteria. Nevertheless, studies are continuing to determine its long-term efficacy and safety and its potential to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

How does Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine work?

Janssen Ad26.COV2.S (COVID-19)  uses the more traditional virus-based technology. It uses an inactivated adenovirus to deliver the instructions for the immune system to recognize SARS-COV2 virus and mount  the defense  against it if the person gets infected. The inactivated adenovirus is not related to the coronavirus,  cannot multiply in the body and will not cause viral infection.

The body reacts by developing protective mechanisms that the immune system mounts include a cellular response (e.g. killer cells) and antibodies that interact with the infectious virus so that it cannot multiply and cause disease.

People who will be receiving the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine should be aware of the possibility of very rare cases of blood clots combined with low levels of blood platelets occurring within three weeks of vaccination.

You should seek medical attention if you experience the following:

  • symptoms of blood clots such as shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain
  • severe and persistent headaches and blurred vision
  • petechiae beyond the site of vaccination after a few days.

COVID-19 is associated with a risk of hospitalisation and death. The reported combination of blood clots and low blood platelets is very rare, and the overall benefits of COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen in preventing COVID-19 outweigh the risks of side effects.

Why is Johnson and Johnson recommended by HTAC?

Current available data suggests Janssen Ad26.COV2.S (COVID-19) Vaccine may prevent symptomatic COVID-19 and reduce risk for hospital visits for persons aged 18 and older.

Compared to experience with previous non-COVID vaccines, health authorities worldwide have noted few reported side effects, with no serious injuries or deaths resulting from vaccination. 

Based on existing evidence from ongoing trials, the HTAC considers that the vaccine’s positive health impacts outweigh its short-term risks. 

Other factors informing the HTAC recommendation include potential health, economic, and social benefits in recommending Johnson and Johnson Vaccine.

As new information emerges, the Council will continue to update its recommendations and provide our policymakers, health providers, and the Filipino public evidence-based guidance.

 

Guidance for Health Care Providers: https://hta.doh.gov.ph/2021/06/04/htac-guidance-for-health-care-providers-covid-19-vaccine-janssen/

Evidence summary: http://bit.ly/ES-JanssenC19