superhero with a cape and a shield representing the protection of a vaccine

Updated April 16, 2021

Federal and state health officials have asked vaccine providers to temporarily stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This is so they can review six cases where women ages 18 to 48 developed a rare and severe type of blood clot. More than 6.8 million doses of the J & J  vaccine have been used in the U.S.

It is common for people to have mild side effects for a few days after getting vaccinated. These can include a headache, fever, or tiredness. 

If you develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination you should call 911 or go to an emergency room. Tell your provider you had the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

If you have a vaccine appointment scheduled with Multnomah County your appointment is still confirmed. You will receive Moderna or Pfizer vaccines until further notice.

This information is available in multiple languages and large print format»

COVID-19 vaccines protect you from getting sick

Local, regional, and national health experts recommend taking a vaccine against COVID-19. Three vaccines have been approved in the U.S. for adults:  

  • Two vaccines, manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna, use a method called messenger RNA (mRNA).

  • One vaccine, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), uses a method called viral vector.

It’s normal to have more than one vaccine to fight the same virus. All of the approved vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective.  

Vaccine type


Viral vector vaccine

Approved manufacturers

Pfizer, Moderna

Johnson & Johnson

How many doses



You are considered fully vaccinated

Two weeks after second dose

Two weeks after single dose

What they do 

Both types of COVID-19 vaccines teach your body to recognize and fight the coronavirus. 

  • The vaccines carry instructions or cells that cause our body to build the “spike protein” that is unique to coronavirus.

  • Our bodies recognize that this spike protein doesn’t belong and learns how to fight against it.  

  • If our body sees this coronavirus in the future, it is ready to protect us.

What they don’t do 

  • They do not contain coronavirus and can’t give you COVID-19.

  • They do not change your DNA or genetic material. 

  • They do not go into the nucleus of your cells — the place where DNA lives.

What’s in the COVID-19 vaccines? 

  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have mRNA and ingredients to help mRNA work in your body: fats, potassium, organic compounds to protect mRNA from too much acid, salt, and sugar. 

  • The J&J vaccine contains a modified adenovirus with information from the coronavirus on it. It also contains ingredients that help keep the vaccine stable: salts, sugars and other organic compounds. 

  • The vaccines do not contain pork products, eggs, latex, or chemicals to preserve the vaccine.

Who can get these vaccines?

  • Adults 16 years and older (Pfizer).

  • Adults 18 years and older (Moderna and Johnson & Johnson). 

  • Scientists are working on a vaccine for kids and teens under 16.

Talk with your doctor or clinic if you:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding, or 

  • Have any serious allergies.

Side effects

Many people experience mild side effects after getting the vaccine. This is a sign that your body is doing what it is supposed to do: building protection against the disease. 

  • Common side effects include soreness or redness where you got the vaccine, a headache, tiredness, and/or low fever (less than 100.4). These symptoms are more common after the second dose. 

  • These symptoms usually go away on their own within a few days. If they don’t, call your doctor or clinic. 

Allergic reactions

It is rare, but some people have had a severe allergic reaction. All of these people received medical help right away. 

  • Everyone who gets these vaccines must wait for at least 15 minutes afterwards, so medical staff can help them if they have a reaction. 

  • If you’ve had a severe allergic reaction in the past, talk with your doctor or clinic.


How The COVID-19 Vaccines Protect You (761.73 KB)

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine (714.92 KB)

Flyers are available in multiple languages and large print format»

Medical experts are still learning how long the vaccines protect you and if they stop you from spreading COVID-19. It will take some time before everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get it. Continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, watch your distance, and keep gatherings small and brief, even if you receive a vaccine.