What to expect for possible side effects with Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

If the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine gets approved this weekend, people could start getting vaccinated with it right away. So, what kind of side effects might they expect?

“Somewhat less with the J&J vaccine than the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine,” said Bill Moss of the Johns Hopkins International Vaccine Access Center during Johns Hopkins’ weekly Friday webinar.

“About half of the people reported soreness at the site of injection, maybe about 39% headache, 39% fatigue and about 1/3 muscle aches,” Moss said.

If symptoms develop, taking over-the-counter remedies, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, are OK, but it’s not recommended that people take those medicines before inoculation.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single-dose shot and can be refrigerated at normal temperatures for three months. Trials on about 45,000 people show it has a 72% overall efficacy.

“I think the really good news is 86% efficacy against severe forms of COVID-19 here in the United States, and 82% against severe disease in South Africa,” Moss said.

Does being inoculated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine mean you can’t spread the coronavirus? Moss said it has an efficacy rate of about 74% against asymptomatic infection.

“The numbers in the sub study were small, and we’re going to have to learn more, but again, some encouraging evidence that the vaccine provides some protection against asymptomatic infection,” Moss said.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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