Skip to main content

Minnesota receives its first batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines

Minnesota now has three vaccines available.

Just days after it was approved by the FDA, Minnesota has received its first batch of the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Tim Walz has confirmed that Minnesota will receive 45,200 doses of the vaccine this week, with Walz himself meeting one of the first shipments to arrive.

He says that doses will begin "shortly after doses arrive to Minnesota providers."

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is meant to be another game changer in the fight against COVID-19.

While it doesn't have as high efficacy at preventing COVID-19 infection as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines (66% on average compared to 94-95%), it is 85% effective at preventing severe COVID four weeks after it's administered.

What's more, it's also been shown to be 64% effective against the South Africa COVID-19 variant, whereas Moderna and Pfizer are investigating whether a booster shot is required to deal with this variant.

And crucially, the vaccine only requires a single dose compared to the two shots required by Pfizer and Moderna – making it more convenient for patients – and they store much better as well, keeping safely in a fridge for up to 3 months, making it logistically easier for vaccine providers.

It's for these reasons that Business Insider argued this week that the J&J shot is actually the best one yet in terms of reducing COVID's spread.

"This is an exciting development. We now have three vaccines available that are safe and highly effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death,” said Governor Walz Wednesday.

"The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will help our state quickly provide immunity and get us one step closer to ending this pandemic. We know we need broad community protection before we can get back to the normal, enjoyable parts of life we have missed, and the way we get there is by getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Everyone who has the opportunity to get this shot should take it.”

After a slow start as it focused on healthcare workers and long-term care facilities, Walz says Minnesota now ranks 3rd among states for the percentage of doses received that have been administered.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Access to vaccines will be expanded to next priority groups – including some essential workers and people with certain chronic conditions – once the state has reached a level of 70% of over-65 Minnesotans receiving at least one vaccine shot.

As of Wednesday, 54% had received a shot.

If you're over 65 and need a shot, Thrifty White currently has more than 3,000 available. More here.

Thanks to the addition of J&J to the country's vaccine response, President Joe Biden said the U.S. should have enough vaccine doses for every American adult available by May, two months earlier than forecast.

The latest forecast from Novak Weather

Next Up

minnesota river

Fishermen find body floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

The body was found upstream from Minnesota River Heritage Park.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 11.01.17 AM

Woman breaks free after being kidnapped and taken to Brooklyn Park

The woman was taken by force as she arrived at her work in Plymouth.


How the fastest animal on the planet returned to MN after local extinction

The fastest animal on Earth had once vanished from Minnesota and Wisconsin.


St. Paul's new 'skate trail' brings non-traditional park to life

Gateway Park is the first of four parks to open in the Highland Bridge redevelopment.


80 mph winds, large hail possible with severe storms in MN

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for much of the state until 3 a.m. Saturday.


30 people evacuated as flooding hammers small town

It's assumed that at least eight inches of rain fell in Randall, with more heavy rain expected Friday night into Saturday morning.

Intersection in Rochester.

Boy dies in motorcycle crash in Rochester

Police are investigating as of Friday afternoon.

Tab2FileL (13)

Numerous severe storms likely in Minnesota Friday night

Watch the video for the full details with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

court room

Teen pleads guilty in shooting death of 15-year-old girl in Columbia Heights

Damico Jamal-Tokyo High will receive a sentence in juvenile court, along with an adult prison sentence.


covid, vaccine

Walz: Vaccines available to all Minnesota adults from March 30

Minnesota's vaccine supply is set to increase rapidly.

covid, vaccine

More than 1 million Minnesotans have completed their vaccine series

The milestone was announced on the day that vaccine availability was widened.


Gov. Tim Walz to announce COVID vaccine next steps on Tuesday

Minnesota is nearing the 70% vaccinated target for over-65s.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota advises health providers pause Johnson & Johnson vaccines

Federal health officials have recommended the pause to review treatment of an extremely rare blot clot.

Screen Shot 2021-03-03 at 2.01.04 PM

U.S. recommends pausing Johnson & Johnson vaccines to review rare blood clot

There have been six reports of blood clots of the 6.8 million vaccines given.

Screen Shot 2021-02-25 at 12.22.09 PM

Walz sets target to get 80% of Minnesotan adults vaccinated

He has challenged Minnesotans to get their shots.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's vaccine progress being hit by federal delays, leaders say

The Biden-Harris COVID prevention plan will be released Thursday.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's 9th community vaccine site opening in Lino Lakes

All Minnesotans age 16 and older can try to get an appointment.