Single shot Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine approved for use in the UK

·2-min read
 (BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)
(BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)

A single-shot coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has been approved for use in the UK.

The vaccine, developed by the company’s subsidiary Janssen, has been approved by the UK medicines regulator and will be available later in the year.

The UK has ordered 20 million doses of the vaccine which has shown to be 67 per cent effective in preventing moderate to severe Covid-19.

It is also thought to be 85 per cent effective in preventing severe disease or admission to hospital.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is a further boost to the UK’s hugely successful vaccination programme, which has already saved over 13,000 lives, and means that we now have four safe and effective vaccines approved to help protect people from this awful virus.

“As Janssen is a single-dose vaccine, it will play an important role in the months to come as we redouble our efforts to encourage everyone to get their jabs and potentially begin a booster programme later this year.”

Britain has four vaccines approved for use under the biggest vaccination programme in the country’s history.

The others are vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna.

The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is thought to have held back from early approval of the Janssen vaccine after concerns were raised in the US about a link to extremely rare blood clots.

The clots are similar to those seen in a very small proportion of people having the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.

In April, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said a warning about unusual blood clots with low blood platelet count should be added to the product information for the vaccine.

This followed eight cases of blood clots in more than seven million people vaccinated in the US.

Johnson & Johnson has said the vaccine works across multiple variants of coronavirus.

In a clinical trial involving 43,783 people, published earlier this year, the level of protection against moderate to severe Covid-19 infection was found to be 72 per cent in the United States arm of the trial.

It was 66 per cent in the Latin American arm of the trial, and 57 per cent in the South African arm, where a mutant variant of the virus has been dominating.

The overall efficacy from clinical trials combined was put at 67 per cent

Vaccines 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 quickly as possible and I encourage everybody to come forward for a jab as soon as they are eligible."

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