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English Section

EU approves J&J's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine

12.03.2021 07:20
The European Union has approved Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, raising hopes for stepped-up inoculation in Poland and across the 27-nation bloc.
Johnson  Johnsons Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.Photo: EPA/TIMOTHY D. EASLEY

The shot developed by the US drug maker is the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine and the fourth to be endorsed for use in the EU after those from Pfizer-BioNTechModerna and AstraZeneca-Oxford University.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been found to be 67 percent effective two weeks after inoculation and is recommended for people aged over 18, the European Medicines Agency said on Thursday.

The United States, Canada and Bahrain have also approved the shot, while South Africa is carrying out an expedited review, the Reuters news agency reported.

"With this latest positive opinion, authorities across the European Union will have another option to combat the pandemic and protect the lives and health of their citizens," the European Medicines Agency's Executive Director Emer Cooke was quoted as saying after the drug regulator gave its conditional approval.

The European Commission officially greenlighted the vaccine later in the day, paving the way to its use across the bloc as countries struggle to contain a more contagious variant of the coronavirus.

EU executive chief Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that "more safe and effective vaccines" were coming to the market.

"With the number of doses we ordered, we could vaccinate up to 200 million people in the EU," she said.

The first shipments of the J&J vaccine are expected in the second half of April, with the company initially promising to deliver at least 200 million doses to the EU this year.

Poland's Health Minister Adam Niedzielski told a news conference last week that his country had ordered 16 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson shot and that the first shipments were expected to arrive next month.

Michał Dworczyk, the official overseeing Poland’s inoculation drive, said on Wednesday that the government had secured assurances from vaccine manufacturers that around 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses would be delivered to the country in the second quarter of this year.

This will include 2.5 million single-dose Johnson & Johnson shots, Dworczyk told a news conference.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters