European Union gives green light to Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine

WION Web Team
Brussels, Belgium Published: Mar 11, 2021, 06:50 PM(IST)

 A vial and sryinge are seen in front of a displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration Photograph:( Reuters )

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Johnson & Johnson is the fourth to be endorsed for use in the EU after Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford University and Moderna

The European Union on Thursday approved Johnson & Johnson's single-dose coronavirus vaccine, as the bloc seeks to speed up a stuttering inoculation campaign and boost its supplies of vaccines.

 

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Johnson & Johnson is the fourth to be endorsed for use in the EU after Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford University and Moderna. Three other vaccines are under "rolling review" by the Amsterdam-based EMA, Novavax, CureVac and Russia's Sputnik. 

Also read| Denmark suspends use of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine due to blood clot fears 

US pharma giant J&J filed on February 16 for approval for the vaccine, developed by its Belgian subsidiary Janssen. The company has committed to deliver 200 million doses of its vaccine to the bloc this year.

As well as being the first that requires a single injection as opposed to two, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easier to store.

The J&J shot however appears less protective than Pfizer and Moderna's regimes, which both have an efficacy of around 95 per cent against all forms of Covid-19 from the classic coronavirus strain.

'Bumpy' strategy'

The EU has been struggling with a disappointing vaccination rollout that started in January and faltered because of a lack of doses produced by the three suppliers so far. 

The head of the EU's vaccine supply task force, Thierry Breton, said on Tuesday the EU's "bumpy" vaccine strategy should be augmented by the addition of the Johnson & Johnson jab.

Reported production shortfalls in the United States by Johnson & Johnson would not impact the EU because Brussels had made contingency plans for all vaccines, he said.

"Do not believe that because one company has a problem that overall it will jeopardise the whole programme," said Breton, the EU's industry commissioner.

Europe's vaccination strategy faced fresh problems on Wednesday as Denmark and Norway said they were temporarily suspending the use of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine after some patients developed blood clots

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