EU approves J&J vaccine
March 12, 2021 - The European Union has approved Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Janssen vaccine -- J&J’s shot joins three other EU-approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford and Moderna.
The green light by the Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) offers a boost for the EU’s struggling vaccination programme. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Belgium manufactures the Covid-19 vaccine. J&J said it aims to begin delivery to the bloc in the second half of April and to supply 200 million doses to the EU, Norway and Iceland in 2021.
In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff have confirmed data showing the single-shot vaccine is safe and effective and found it worked nearly as well at preventing severe disease caused by the variant first discovered in South Africa.
Following a three-continent trial, the U.S. regulator found that the J&J shot was 57 per cent effective at preventing disease at its trial site in South Africa, where the 501.V2 variant is prevalent. This efficacy compares with 72 per cent in the U.S. and 66 per cent in Brazil.
The addition of the Johnson & Johnson shot will boost the EU’s sluggish vaccination strategy. “More safe and effective vaccines are coming to the market,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet.
“With the number of doses we ordered, we could vaccinate up to 200 million people in the EU” with the J&J jab this year, she said.
- Covid-19: Pfizer vaccine efficacy was 52% after first dose and 95% after second dose, paper shows (BMJ)
- Covid-19: New data on Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine backs 12 week dosing interval (BMJ)
- J&J vaccine performs well against variants in boost for Covid battle (Financial Times)
- Why Do You Need Two Doses for Some COVID-19 Vaccines? (Healthline)