The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Feb. 27 granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for individuals ages 18 and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Feb. 28 recommended the vaccine.
A randomized, placebo-controlled study shows the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was approximately 67 percent effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 occurring at least 14 days after vaccination and 66 percent effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 occurring at least 28 days after vaccination.
The Janssen vaccine uses a piece of adenovirus type 26 (Ad26) to deliver the deoxyribonucleic acid that triggers the body to produce the “spike” protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and provoke an immune response against the virus. Ad26 has been modified for the vaccine so it cannot replicate in the human body to cause illness. In contrast, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use a piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ messenger ribonucleic acid, instead of a virus, to trigger the body to produce the spike protein.
Additionally, the Janssen vaccine is a single-dose inoculation, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which require a follow-up dose.
FDA Authorizes At-Home COVID-19 Test
FDA on March 1 issued an EUA for the Quidel QuickVue at-home COVID-19 test. The antigen test may be used, with a prescription from a health care provider, for individuals suspected of COVID-19 within the first six days of symptom onset. Individuals ages 14 and older may collect anterior nasal swabs themselves; the test also may be used for individuals as young as eight years old whose swabs are collected by an adult.
COVID-19 Health Coverage FAQs
The departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury jointly issued an FAQ document about implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act; and other COVID-19 health coverage issues. The document explains the requirement for group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide benefits for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and preventive services.
Notably, this document also includes guidance on how providers can seek federal reimbursement when delivering COVID-19 services to the uninsured.