What’s Different About the J&J Vaccine?

How does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine compare to those already being administered?

The FDA granted emergency use authorization to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, and the CDC has recommended the vaccine for adults 18 years of age and older.

Here’s what we know so far about the new vaccine.

First, by way of explanation: vaccines teach the immune system to recognize a disease, allowing your immune system to develop the cells and proteins needed to fight off a pathogen when it is encountered. There are a variety of methods to do this. Attenuated vaccines (smallpox and measles vaccines for example) introduce us to a close cousin of the pathogen that isn’t supposed to make us sick, but allows us to develop immunity to the target pathogen. Inactivated vaccines like the flu shot introduce us to a weakened or dead form of the virus. With the HPV vaccine, called a subunit vaccine, a few proteins of the virus are produced in a lab and then injected into the patient.

The new COVID vaccines, including Johnson & Johnson’s, Moderna’s, and Pfizer’s, use a new method. These vaccines work by tricking our cells into making the necessary proteins to fight off the virus. This is done by delivering genetic information into cells with the instructions for making the right proteins.

While the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines work the same way broadly, there are differences. In J&J’s vaccine, an adenovirus has been genetically engineered to carry the genetic code (in the form of double stranded DNA) for the spike protein; once the virus enters cells, that code is used to make spike proteins. In the mRNA vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer, the genetic information (in the form of RNA) for the spike protein is carried by lipid particles in the form of RNA directly into cells. RNA is less stable than DNA, which is why the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines need to be stored at colder temperatures than Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which can be stored at refrigerator temperatures for months.

While the adenovirus technology used by Johnson & Johnson isn’t quite as new as the mRNA technology used by Moderna and Pfizer, it is still mostly untested, though the idea has been around for some time. Only one other adenovirus vaccine has been approved for use against Ebola, which has been used in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2019.

The J&J vaccine’s efficacy is also different. We’ve seen that Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines report above 90 percent efficacy at preventing COVID infection seven days after the second shot, both in clinical trials and in the real world. J&J’s vaccine is less effective, with 66 percent efficacy against moderate to severe illness, 85 percent effective against severe disease, and 100 percent effective at preventing death in clinical trials.

The difference in efficacy is in part due to the timing of the clinical trial. Moderna and Pfizer were testing their vaccines before the new variants started spreading, such as those in South Africa, Brazil, and the UK, started to arise. The J&J vaccine was given to some populations where the variants might undermine the vaccine’s efficacy. J&J’s vaccine was just 57 percent effective in South Africa, while it was 72 percent effective in the US.

The clinical trials of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines and the J&J vaccine also had different goals. Pfizer and Moderna’s trials tested for any symptomatic COVID infection, while J&J sought to determine whether one dose of its vaccine protected against moderate to severe COVID illness.

We don’t have as much information on the side effect profile of J&J’s vaccine. With Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines, side effects, especially after the second dose, are relatively common, with injection site pain, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain being the most common. But there have also been reports of anaphylaxis after receiving these vaccines. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System currently lists 19,769 adverse events from COVID-19 vaccines, with over 200 reports of anaphylactic shock or reaction, along with 810 deaths.

For J&J’s vaccine, some rare conditions appeared more common with the vaccine compared to placebo. Blood-clot related conditions occurred in 15 volunteers who received the vaccine compared to 10 who received the placebo; tinnitus was also more common in the vaccine group. There was also a case of anaphylaxis that J&J reported.

J&J’s vaccine contains the following inactive ingredients: citric acid monohydrate, trisodium citrate dihydrate, ethanol, 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HBCD), polysorbate 80, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, and hydrochloric acid. Polysorbate 80 has been identified as a possible cause of some of the allergic reactions we’ve been seeing.

A breakdown of the ingredients for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be found here. These vaccines contain polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is suspected to be the culprit behind the severe allergic reactions caused by these vaccines.

None of the COVID vaccines contain mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum, or aborted fetal cells. A COVID vaccine being developed in India, Covaxin, used traditional vaccine technology (developed using inactivated or killed COVID virus), but contains aluminum to help stimulate an immune response. We’ve written before about some of the health concerns associated with aluminum adjuvants in vaccines.


  1. Are you sure that non of the vaccines contain aborted baby cells. I have seen on several website that J & J contains aborted baby cells. Please clarify the connection with aborted baby cells and these vaccines. Thanks.

    1. Sandy, you cannot believe everything you read on the internet. It is full of disinformation. This article clearly states that none of the vaccines use human cells.

      1. The J&J vaccine uses PER.C6 aborted fetal retinal cell culture in the vaccine, and it is stated on the doctor’s insert that some cells AND DNA remain!
        The Moderna jab used HEK-293 aborted fetal human embryonic kidney cell culture.
        Pfizer tests their jab on HEK-293.
        All this info is from the companies themselves.

    2. They would only contain fetal cells if th viruses were themselves culltured on cell lines from a fetus. I can’t find any information on this, hwever fetal cell lines are used throughout development of this vaccine. Maybe for testing, maybe for culturing the virus, I’m not sure.

  2. I had the J&J vaccine and have experienced tiredness and my arm is sore.. That’s it..I slept the day I received it from 8 pm to 9 am and the following night from 9pm to 9 am. My husband also received the J&J and he feels fine. No arm pain or tiredness


  4. J & J has a sordid history of putting toxic and harmful untested drugs on the market. I would never trust any pharma company to make purified water that would be safe. It’s 100% about money and profits and ZERO percent about health, safety, efficacy and creating healthy human beings.

  5. Having the choice between J&J’s new vaccine and the others I want any of the others. The idea of using a less effective vaccine that uses DNA makes me worried, never mind the fact that I have a family history of blood clots. I think it is a bad decision to use the new vaccine model.

  6. I am appalled at the number of people I know of who insist on an organic lifestyle, but who are also lining up for a COVID shot! The cognitive disconnect is astounding. If you’re going to insist on organic food, personal care products, and clothing, why on earth would you allow yourself to become a human version of BT corn?! All of these shots transform humans into GMO’s in the most insidious and unpredictable ways. The dead bodies are piling up and very soon, if it hasn’t happened already, the death toll from the “vaccines” will be higher than it ever was from the supposed COVID “vy-rus”. Pasteur, after a career long effort to prove that “germs” cause disease, finally asserted at the end of his life that “the germ is nothing. The terrain is everything.” Einstein reiterated that in a slightly different way: “The field is everything.” For human disease, this boils down to the fact that disease comes from within, not from without. For anyone interested in more of the science behind these revelatory statements, I suggest the book, “The Contagion Myth”. After over 40 years of self-directed, and at times intense, study of the science and research data, I am unapologetically anti-vax. I don’t care how “safe” they could be made, they will never be as effective as a healthy body. Inoculations in any form, are a completely unnatural way of building immunity. It’s time to end the religiosity of the germ theory, with it’s dogmas, doctrines, and “sacred rites” that utterly violate the natural laws that govern all of us.

    1. Thank you for your comments. Finally someone making some sense. Amazing that we are still living under Pasteur’s germ theory after all these years. Read “Thre Curse of Louis Pasteur” by Nancy Appleton. Takes the responsibly for our health out of our hands. Pretty apparent when you look at the population today. EVERYONE is sick! (Except you and me! LOL)

    2. I agree, I would also urge you to visit there following video; “Mass Vaccination In A Pandemic by Dr Geert Vanden Bossche”.

    3. I hear ya Jo!!! Well said. This is not in alignment with a healthy, organic lifestyle. Something is off here. It makes me wonder how smart people I admire have been so bamboozled…

    4. Well said! Now the media is starting to call those opposed to vaccines as antivaxxers, and carrying it further to being included with white supremacists. Even PBS is joining in with the brainwashing mantra. The masses are easily swayed with 80% that will fall in line, ten percent that will think logically and choose to protect their bodies, and ten percent that don’t care about anything. It is a very sad commentary of big business and power hungry and greedy people swindling the world.

  7. The whole issue of vaccines even being something legitimate — in and of themselves — has to be addressed in the widest possible way at this crucial time, when truth stands every chance of emerging in this moment when many lies and deceptions are being exposed. For historical references, one can begin to look into the work of Antoine Bechamp, who clearly posited terrain theory as being the cause of disease — that internal toxicity is a factor that causes the body’s natural immune system to detox itself, wherein various elements are produced, including exosomes (confused as viruses) — as opposed to the fraudulent work of Louis Pasteur, long considered the father of germ theory, which posits an external infectious agent. Also see the excellent work today, in the various discussions with Drs. Andrew Kaufman, Thomas Cowan, Barre Lando and Stefan Lanka, among others. They all concur that there has been NO paper or study to date that has proven the existence or isolation of any living entity known as a virus. The original Latin word itself (“virus”) means toxin or poison, and does not even indicate a living entity.

  8. Please do not lie. The Moderna injection is grown in HEK293 cells (human embryonic kidney cells) and the J&J vaccine is grown in PER.C6, aborted fetal retinal cells.
    “Date Last Updated: 03/05/2021
    The Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine has been granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine has not been approved or licensed by FDA, but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA, under an EUA for active
    immunization to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in individuals 18 years of age and
    older. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that
    circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use of the medical product under
    Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act unless the declaration is terminated
    or authorization revoked sooner.1, 2
    The Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S) consists of a replication-incompetent recombinant
    adenovirus type 26 (Ad26) vector expressing the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2
    (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) protein in a stabilized conformation.1
    The Ad26 vector expressing the SARS-CoV-2 S protein is grown in PER.C6® TetR cells, in media
    containing amino acids and no animal-derived proteins. After propagation, the vaccine is processed
    through several purification steps, formulated with inactive ingredients and filled into vials.1
    The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may contain residual amounts of host cell proteins (≤0.15 mcg)
    and/or host cell DNA (≤3 ng).1 Ad26-based vaccines are produced in PER.C6® host cells, a
    complementing cell line that allows the replication of AdVac® vectors because it contains the E1
    gene lacking in AdVac® vectors.3 Host cell proteins and host cell deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) refer
    to components (proteins or DNA) of the PER.C6® TetR cells that the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is
    grown on. During the manufacturing process, several purification steps are performed to remove
    any components of the PER.C6® TetR cells. In the final vaccine, only extremely small trace amounts
    of components of the PER.C6® TetR cells (proteins or DNA) may still be present. Testing is
    performed to detect these residual amounts and ensure they are below acceptable levels.”
    That is from the J&J/Janssen papers.

  9. It does not sound much more safe than the other two. Not sure that messing with RNA is safe, but also do not like messing with other common viruses to force my cells to produce a protein. You have not said, for any of the vaccines, if this is a continuing lifetime effect as the cells’ DNA is thus altered.

  10. None of the COVID vaccines contain mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum, or aborted fetal cells. A COVID vaccine being developed in India, Covaxin, used traditional vaccine technology (developed using inactivated or killed COVID virus), but contains aluminum to help stimulate an immune response. We’ve written before about some of the health concerns associated with aluminum adjuvants in vaccines.
    Statement that none of the vaccines contain aborted fetal cells is misleading and not truthful.

  11. I find this article very disappointing. Instead of just stating the facts, it seems to be using a lot of the vaccine industry’s talking points. For example:
    1. “vaccines teach the immune system to recognize a disease, allowing your immune system to develop the cells and proteins needed to fight off a pathogen when it is encountered.” This is certainly overstating the facts. At best it has been shown that a vaccine can stimulate production of proteins called antibodies that are assumed to play a part in defending the body against pathogenic invaders. Those proteins can be measured, but even if their function is absolutely what they say it is, claiming that that amounts to “teaching your immune system” something is really stretching anything that is actually known about any vaccine’s actual mode of operation.
    2. The discussion of “efficacy” fails to note that the 90+% or 66% numbers are based on only a tiny percent of the total vaccine trial participants. For example, in the Pfizer trials as of their report to the FDA, there were over 37,000 participants. A few thousand of them, slightly more in the placebo arm than in the vaccine arm, got covid symptoms, reported as “presumed covid.” Fewer than 200, or around 0.5% of the total participants, got covid symptoms AND a positive test, making them “confirmed covid.” ONLY those few were counted in the 95% efficacy that Pfizer reports, because 95% of them were in the placebo arm and only 5% in the vaccine arm. In other words, with or without the vaccine, only 9.5% of the trial participants got any kind of covid-like illness at all.

  12. Bottom line is that none of these vaccine manufacturers will stand behind their products.
    If you do have a bad reaction or develop some oddity down the road this means -sorry- you are on your own.
    What does that tell you? Think…then think again folks.

  13. Sue….yes…but since when does ANY pharmaceutical back ANY of their vaccines or such?? You are ALWAYS on your own when you decide to accept the shot….

  14. When I made my first comment on March 11, there were no other comments. Now there are 16 comments, none of which is mine. I made 2 more comments today to answer people’s questions. Again, they are not there. WHY?

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