The Vanuatu Ministry of Health received 28,800 doses of the
Johnson & Johnson or Janssen COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility. The single dose COVID-
19 vaccine is prioritised by the Ministry for remote, difficult to reach locations where roll out of the
two-dose vaccines are challenged due to access issues and low population densities.
The Vanuatu Ministry of health acknowledges the continuous supply of vaccines through the COVAX
facility to Vanuatu. In his remarks the Minister of health shares the importance of getting vaccinated
and achieving the Ministry’s target 90 per cent of eligible population being vaccinated before March
2022. The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as an agreement through the National Immunization
Coordination Committee is prioritised for rural remote hard-to-reach communities where roll out of
the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines are challenged due to difficult to access and low population density.
Some of the areas include: parts of Penama Province, such as Pentecost Island, West Coast Santo,
parts of Torba Province, and the Shepherds Islands.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine or Janssen COVID-19 vaccine sourced through the COVAX facility is
donated by the Governments of Portugal and the Netherlands. The Strategic Advisory Group of
Experts (SAGE) has thoroughly assessed the data on quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine and has
recommended it’s use for people aged 18 and above. The vaccine has only one dose administered for
each eligible individual.
In addition, this vaccine has undergone review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and found to be safe for use. The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine or
Johnson & Johnson vaccine is listed in the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency use Listing.
Similar to other vaccines being rolled out already in Vanuatu, vaccines that have achieved WHO
Emergency Use Listing are highly effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death due
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Some side effects caused by this vaccine may
include headache, nausea, muscle pains, pain at the injection area, and tiredness. Less common side
effects may include: swelling or redness at the injection area, chills, joint pains, a cough, and fever.
These side effects should go away within a few days following vaccination. Per Ministry’s advice with
other COVID-19 vaccines, if they persist, there is an emergency number to call or visit the nearest
Up until 5 December 2021 147,595 COVID-19 doses were administered in Vanuatu. A total of 100,264
(57 per cent) people received at least one dose of AstraZeneca or Sinopharm and 47,345 (27 per cent)
people have received two doses of either Sinopharm or AstraZeneca and are considered fully
vaccinated. With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine the Ministry of Health is looking ahead to achieve at
least 90 per cent of adults being partially protected with one dose and at least 70 per cent of adults
fully vaccinated nationwide by 20 March 2022.
The Vanuatu Ministry of Health continues to emphasise on the importance of vaccination to protect
against severe disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19 alongside other public health
measures. Everyone who has not received their COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to come forward
and get vaccinated to protect themselves, their family, their community and Vanuatu as a whole.
For official information, please continue to refer to the Ministry of Health website at
www.covid19.gov.vu, or the Health Promotions Vanuatu Facebook page, or dial the 119 Health