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Fact Check-Blank Johnson & Johnson vaccine insert is not proof the company is hiding safety and efficacy information

Suggestions that Johnson & Johnson has included blank inserts in medical packaging to conceal the safety and efficacy information of its COVID-19 vaccine are false. The insert was intentionally left blank – and it includes a QR code and website to see the most up-to-date information on the jab.

The claims have been circulated in combination with a video of the insert being revealed by a social media user. In the 90-second clip, a woman opens the vaccine packaging and is seen unfurling the paper leaflet (here , here , here).

“There’s a lot of safety and efficacy data; in fact, all the normal information that you would find in a package insert – like the ingredients – that would all be found right here in this package insert,” she says, sarcastically. “Must be magic. It’s all blank. The whole thing.”

Pointing to a small section comprising the QR code and website, she adds: “Except for this part. That’s the only thing not blank. Are you kidding me?”

While it is true the paper insert is mostly blank, it also includes a section which explicitly states this decision was intentional.

“The U.S. package insert that accompanies the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine includes information regarding how to electronically access expiry dates and Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized Fact Sheets, which are available at www.vaxcheck.jnj,” a Johnson & Johnson spokesperson told Reuters in an email.

“The package insert states that the front and back panels of the insert were intentionally left blank, with Fact Sheets made available electronically for the duration of FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization. This process ensures vaccinators and consumers have the most up-to-date Fact Sheets available to them, with www.vaxcheck.jnj reflecting any revisions made in alignment with the FDA. The Fact Sheets contain detailed prescribing information, including ingredients, dosage and administration, warnings and contraindications.”

VERDICT

Missing context. While it is true the packaging insert was left mostly blank, this was intentional – and was a decision explicitly detailed on the insert itself. Instead, the company has used the leaflet to direct readers to an online Fact Sheet that can be updated and reflect any revisions made by the FDA.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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