Johnson & Johnson vaccine: when the vaccination status suddenly changes

As of: 01/30/2022 8:08 p.m

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was used primarily in homeless or collective shelters. Advantage: After a vaccination you were considered fully vaccinated. That has changed.

A spade and you were completely vaccinated. For a long time, this applied to the Janssen corona vaccine from the US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson. According to the Robert Koch Institute, around 3.6 million people received this vaccine when they were first vaccinated.

In October 2021, the Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) had already recommended a second vaccination for this vaccination, preferably with an mRNA vaccine, to improve the basic immunization. Nevertheless, vaccination with Johnson & Johnson was still considered to be fully vaccinated.

New regulation since mid-January

But since January 15, anyone who has only received one vaccine dose from Johnson & Johnson is no longer considered fully vaccinated, so they need a second vaccination. And so far, those with a Johnson & Johnson shot plus another shot were considered boosted. That no longer applies. Now they are only fully vaccinated with it. So everything is a step back.

“Quantitatively, the vaccine does not play a major role,” says Jan Steffen Jürgensen, CEO of the Stuttgart Clinic, which also operates a vaccination station. The advantage of the vaccine was the one-time vaccine dose. So no binding follow-up appointment was necessary. It was therefore preferably used in collective accommodation for refugees, facilities for people without a permanent address or contact points for the homeless. For these people in particular, it is particularly important that they are informed and receive follow-up offers, says the doctor.

Another exclusion?

Sophie Wischnewski is the head of the ecumenical station mission in Leipzig. “95 percent of our guests got Johnson & Johnson,” says the social worker. In her view, the new regulation is once again an exclusion. Suddenly people who are already vulnerable are no longer fully vaccinated and in some cases need testing again. “Anyone who needs a test has to show ID. But many don’t have ID. To apply for one, they have to go to the citizens’ office. But they can only get in there with a test,” she says, describing the dilemma.

“It’s another hurdle and another exclusion, especially for those who are often forgotten anyway.” Of course, at the same time, it is also an impulse to get vaccinated again and thus also to be protected, adds Wischnewski. Protection against infection is important, but the challenges facing those in need of protection have not been given enough consideration during the pandemic. If you don’t have an ID, you can’t just go to any vaccination center for a refresher. Therefore, the facility takes care of informing about possible low-threshold vaccination offers.

Low-threshold vaccination offers

Caritas in Mannheim does the same thing. “There were and are numerous low-threshold vaccination offers in Mannheim, such as the city’s vaccination bus, vaccination appointments at the Vesperkirche of the Evangelical Church, about which information is provided in the day-care center with current notices,” says Julia Koch from Caritas. So far, there have been isolated inquiries about boosters and the current regulations. Then the colleagues would clarify.

Missing documents, no smartphone

However, she is also aware of the hurdles that always play a role. These are the missing ID documents, health insurance, language barriers and the mostly digitized access to test stations, since many homeless people have no smartphone and no e-mail address.

differences in the federal states

Anyone who has received a second vaccination after the first vaccination with Johnson & Johnson is currently considered to be fully vaccinated. However, the access conditions, for example for cafés, differ in the federal states. In Baden-Württemberg and Saxony, for example, you no longer need an additional test in the case of 2G-Plus if the second vaccination was not more than three months ago. It’s different in other states. Also in Hamburg. Anyone who has been vaccinated here with Johnson & Johnson and then received a second vaccination needs a test for 2G Plus offers.

Homeless in Hamburg surprised

“In Hamburg, most homeless people have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson,” says Timo Spiewak from Caritas Hamburg. Many are completely surprised that they are no longer fully vaccinated. The fact that they should also follow up with the vaccination at Johnson & Johnson has not yet reached many people. “In Hamburg, for example, there were projects where the homeless were housed in hotels. Some didn’t take in unvaccinated people,” says Spiewak. Such situations could be more difficult at the moment. Renewed education and vaccinations are now necessary.

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