March 3, 2021

jjvaccine_fullCOLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center made history Tuesday as the first place in the United States to administer Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine and remains at the forefront of curbing the pandemic, vaccinating thousands of patients each day at its mass vaccination clinic within the Schottenstein Center.

With a countdown of 3-2-1, five Columbus-area patients simultaneously received the vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, authorized just days ago, adds even greater strength to the effort. With an initial shipment of 300 doses, Ohio State will begin its full public rollout of the new vaccine on Thursday.

Depending on availability, those who receive their shot at the Schottenstein Center may be able to choose among the three vaccine options — but Ohio State’s medical experts say the best shot is whatever one you can get.

“We strongly believe that all three are effective, and all three are safe,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, chief clinical officer at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “We recommend anyone who’s offered the opportunity to get a vaccine to get it. It’s really important for as many people to be vaccinated as possible.”

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson shot doesn’t use messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA, to stimulate an immune response. Instead, it uses a modified, harmless virus to deliver immunity instructions to cells in the body. While studies have shown that it’s slightly less effective at preventing moderate or severe cases of COVID-19, it’s just as effective as the mRNA vaccines at preventing COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths.

It requires just one shot instead of two, which is likely to be appealing for those who fear needles or have difficulties making it to multiple appointments.

For more information about appointment eligibility and the approved COVID-19 vaccines, visit


Media Contact: Alexis Shaw, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737,

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