According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires only one dose, provides effective protection against the coronavirus.
The vaccine provides around 66% effective protection against moderate and severe coronavirus disease, and it is safe to use, the FDA said on Wednesday.
Could be approved next week
The vaccine also provides effective protection against mutated virus variants from South Africa and Brazil, according to results from large clinical studies conducted in both these countries and the United States.
“The effectiveness of the vaccine against severe and critical COVID-19 was equally high in the United States, South Africa, and Brazil,” the FDA said in its new report.
Thus, the vaccine is set to become the third to be approved for use in the United States.
On Friday, the FDA’s independent advisers will discuss whether there is sufficient evidence to recommend the use of the vaccine. A decision by the FDA is expected to come shortly.
Could speed up vaccination
Unlike other vaccines, only one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is needed. Thus, many hope that it can pick up the pace of vaccination.
In addition, the vaccine can be stored at refrigerator temperatures, while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines need to be stored at freezing temperatures.
But even if the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved, it will take time before it becomes available. Only a few million doses will likely be available during the first week.
The company has stated that they expect to have 20 million doses ready by the end of March, and 100 million doses by this summer.
European health authorities and the World Health Organization WHO will also evaluate the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The company says it hopes to be able to produce one billion doses worldwide by the end of the year.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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