Vaccine updates: Third vaccine approved, new healthcare worker eligibility and more

There have been several recent developments about COVID-19 vaccines this week. Below are the latest details.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

On Feb. 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a third vaccine product for the prevention of COVID-19. The EUA allows the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed in the U.S. for use in people 18 years of age and older. This vaccine is given in a single dose.

At this time, Ohio Cleveland Clinic anticipates receiving a shipment the week of March 1. These will be distributed at our vaccine locations, along with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. A program to deliver vaccine to homebound elderly patients will also distribute the single-dose vaccine.

Learn more about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on the FDA website.

Vaccinating Phase 1A caregivers in Ohio COVID units resumes

Following updated state guidance in Ohio, a limited amount of our current vaccine supply may be allocated to resume the vaccination of healthcare workers.

This is limited to caregivers who:

  • Have significant contact with COVID-19 patients on an inpatient unit or emergency department
  • -OR-
  • Work daily with immunocompromised patients

Caregivers will be invited to schedule their vaccination in groups over the next several weeks.

Eligible caregivers will be contacted through their Cleveland Clinic Outlook email from Occupational Health and receive a scheduling ticket through MyChart when appointments are available.

Please ensure you have an active MyChart account so you are able to access the scheduling ticket.

Since this will be a small percentage of the vaccine supply Cleveland Clinic receives, it will take several weeks to vaccinate caregivers in these categories who wish to receive the vaccine.

We are optimistic that as vaccine supply increases across the U.S. in the coming months, anyone who wishes to be vaccinated may soon be able to do so.

Expansion to Phase 1C and Phase 2 in Ohio

On March 4, vaccine eligibility will expand to additional Ohioans outlined by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). This includes those age 60 and older, as well as individuals who have additional medical conditions that may increase their risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 including pregnant women, and Ohioans who work in certain occupations such as child care, funeral services and law enforcement.

Expanded medical conditions include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Bone marrow transplant recipients
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Pregnancy

Individuals who are immunocompromised, pregnant, suspect pregnancy or are breastfeeding should talk to their physician before receiving the vaccine.

For detailed information on Ohio’s Phase 1C eligibility (expanded medical conditions) or Phase 2 (age), visit the ODH website.

Eligible caregivers and patients who meet age or medical condition requirements, who wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, can learn more on our website. Based on vaccine supply, eligible caregivers and patients will be notified through MyChart when there are vaccine slots available.

Offering vaccines to the community at Langston Hughes

In order to continue to serve our community and provide a convenient location for Ohioans, we are expanding vaccine distribution to the Langston Hughes Community Health & Education Center on Mondays beginning March 8.

Important reminders

Due to the limited supply and overwhelming demand, this complex vaccination program will take several more months. We appreciate that many people are eager to receive the vaccine and ask for patience as we do not yet have the supply to meet this demand. Our vaccine allocation is determined by state and federal guidance. 

We want to make sure our community has every opportunity to receive the vaccine. Appointments may also be available at other hospitals, health departments and pharmacies. For more information, visit the Ohio Department of Health website at vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

Due to the storage requirements and limited supply of vaccines, we will not be able to offer patients a choice of which vaccine they receive. All three vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA and have been determined to be safe and effective.

Continue to follow all safety precautions even after receiving the vaccine including: wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing and staying home when sick.

For the latest information on Cleveland Clinic vaccination appointments, visit: clevelandclinic.org/covidvaccine.