A one-shot coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has been approved in the UK.
The vaccine, developed by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen pharmaceutical group, has been shown to be 67% effective in preventing moderate to severe Covid-19, and is thought to be 85% effective in preventing serious illness or disease. hospitalization.
The jab should be available in the UK later this year.
Announcing that the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency had approved the vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is another boost to the UK’s highly successful vaccination program, which has already saved more of 13,000 lives, and it means we now have four safe houses and effective vaccines approved to help protect people from this terrible virus.
“Because Janssen is a single-dose vaccine, it will play an important role in the coming months, as we will redouble our efforts to encourage everyone to get their shots and potentially start a booster program later this year. “.
The vaccine is part of the UK study on Cov-Boost, which studies the effectiveness of a number of vaccines that could be used as a booster shot in the autumn.
The UK has ordered 20 million doses of the vaccine, which English Deputy Medical Director Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has previously said could be used for hard-to-reach groups of people, where it’s not always to remember them for a second time. successfully.
The vaccine can be stored at the normal temperature of the refrigerator, which means it could be used to distribute it in places like care homes.
The MHRA is believed to have been withheld since the vaccine was approved early after concerns were raised in the United States about a link to extremely rare blood clots. The clots are similar to those seen in a very small proportion of people who have the Oxford / AstraZeneca stroke.
In April, the European Medicines Agency said a warning about unusual blood clots with a low platelet count should be added to product information for the vaccine.
This followed after eight cases of blood clots in more than seven million people vaccinated in the US. Johnson & Johnson has said the vaccine works on multiple variants of the coronavirus.
In a clinical trial with 43,783 people, published earlier this year, it was found that the level of protection against moderate to severe Covid-19 infection was 72% in the U.S. arm. It was 66% in the Latin American arm of the trial and 57% in the South African arm, where a mutant variant of the virus has been dominant. The overall efficacy of the combined clinical trials stood at 67%.
Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The Janssen vaccine will be another weapon in our arsenal to beat this pandemic.
“We are doing everything we can to vaccinate all adults as soon as possible and I encourage everyone to apply for a punch as soon as they are eligible.”