News & Media

CDC J&J Vaccine Clinical Guidelines Reminder

Thursday, January 13, 2022

As a reminder, CDC has endorsed recommendations made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the prevention of COVID-19, expressing a clinical preference for individuals to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine over J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine. ACIP’s unanimous recommendation followed a robust discussion of the latest evidence on vaccine effectiveness, vaccine safety and rare adverse events, and consideration of the U.S. vaccine supply. This updated CDC recommendation follows similar recommendations from other countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom. Given the current state of the pandemic both here and around the world, the ACIP reaffirmed that receiving any vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. Individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine.

MDHHS supports this CDC recommendation for a clinical preference for individuals to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine over J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine. It is permissible to use J&J COVID-19 vaccine in certain scenarios such as:

  • An individual requests the use of J&J vaccine.
  • An individual is otherwise unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine.
    • An individual may be unable to receive an mRNA vaccine if they have had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA vaccine or if they had a severe allergic reaction after receiving a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
  • An individual needs a one-dose vaccine to comply with travel requirements, work vaccine mandates, etc.

Please keep in mind that any individual receiving a J&J vaccine must be informed of the risks and benefits prior to vaccination.


Given the large amount of J&J vaccine inventory available, MDHHS is encouraging providers to utilize on-hand doses of J&J rather than placing a new MCIR E-Order. Providers should still follow the clinical preference guidelines for an mRNA vaccine, but if J&J vaccine is needed, on-hand doses should be utilized first. Continue to check your inventory and expiration dates using first-in/first-out storage and handling practices. To request doses for redistribution, providers should contact their local health department (LHD) regarding available vaccine (

If necessary, an E-Order in MCIR may be placed if the following applies:

  • Provider is confident in utilizing the minimum order quantity (100 doses)
  • Provider has contacted the local health department and is unable to receive redistributed doses from the local health department or another provider.

LHDs, please work with your MDHHS Field Representative prior to order approval to discuss ordering versus redistribution and to assure inventories are continuing to be assessed.

As a reminder, E-Orders are not automatically approved. They are sent to the LHD for review and approval before being processed by MDHHS.

REMINDER: Please remember to include ancillary supplies during redistribution. CDC’s redistribution tool for ancillary supplies can assist. Utilize this tool to help ensure all the syringes, needles, supplies, and diluent needed for vaccine administration move with vaccine during redistribution.

If you have questions, please contact