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EU countries to receive Johnson & Johnson vaccines from mid-April

Johnson & Johnson said on Monday it would start delivering its single-shot Covid vaccine to Europe on April 19th, giving the continent a boost as it struggles to speed up its vaccination drive.

EU countries to receive Johnson & Johnson vaccines from mid-April
(Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

The pharmaceutical giant’s jab was approved by European Union regulators in mid-March, following approval of vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

The 27-nation EU has signed a firm order for 200 million J&J doses and an option for 200 million more.

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

The EMA gave the green light after saying clinical trials involving volunteers in the United States, South Africa and South American countries found the J&J jab was 67 percent effective in preventing moderate-to-severe Covid globally.

The EMA’s report said: “The trial found a 67% reduction in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases after 2 weeks in people who received COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (116 cases out of 19,630 people) compared with people given placebo (348 of 19,691 people). This means that the vaccine had a 67% efficacy.”

The jab was the fourth to be endorsed for use in the EU after vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech , AstraZeneca-Oxford University and Moderna, and is recommended for those over 18 years of age, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said.

“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. This is the first vaccine that can be used as a single dose,” said Emer Cooke, EMA’s Executive Director after the jab was approved.

The study said the side effects from the COVID-19 Janssen vaccine were usually mild or moderate and cleared within a couple of days after vaccination, the EMA said.

Several European countries have enacted new restrictions to curb a surge of infections, as vaccination campaigns have been slower than in other countries such as the United States or Britain.

Member comments

    1. Boggy apparently you can not choose! You have to take what you get offered. So fingers crossed it is JJ. I refuse unless I get JJ, and I think many ‘younger unlikely to die from covid’ people will. I am lucky as I will not get offered AZ, if they have not changed their mind before it’s my age group. I have no intention to accept rmna vaccines, so they better be happy I will accept JJ and otherwhise I won’t bother getting vaccinated at all. Let see what happens, let see or there are dodgy side effects after JJ, time will tell.

  1. This is great! Thanks for the additional source. I think it’s your last sentence that keeps being overlooked in reports on effectiveness. While the vaccine is not a 100% guarantee that you won’t catch COVID (though it significantly helps), it was 100% effective in keeping you from dying. Getting sick is not the end of the world if the sickness doesn’t go on to kill people. Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t mind seeing this kill fewer people and have life open up a little more.

    1. (My previous comment was meant to be in response to the comment and source provided by Ty, but the website doesn’t group them that way… Sorry for the confusion)

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TRAVEL

EU vaccine chief hopes for tourism boost as he unveils Covid-19 ‘health passport’

The head of the European Commission vaccines task force, Thierry Breton, unveiled the first European "health passport" on Sunday, claiming he hopes Europe will have a summer season "comparable to last year".

EU vaccine chief hopes for tourism boost as he unveils Covid-19 'health passport'
It's hoped the health passport will open up Europe for tourism in 2021. Photo: Gabriella Clare Marino/Unsplash

The new health certificate should be available “within two to three months” in both digital and paper formats, Breton told RTL radio and TV channel LCI.

For the first time, people got a glimpse of the health passport that will be made available throughout the EU, validated by the 27 member states.

“From the moment we can be sure that every European who wants to be vaccinated will have fair access to the vaccine, as will be the case in the next two to three months – it will be good to have a health certificate that demonstrates your condition,” said Breton.

Implementing the health travel document is planned for June, which would allow travel to resume across Europe, he added.

This is supported by an acceleration of Covid-19 vaccination rollouts, with the European Union expected to deliver 420 million doses by mid-July.

READ ALSO: EU vaccine passports must prevent ‘discrimination’: European Commission

Describing the EU’s vaccination campaign, he said, “We have to shift to the next gear. This will be the price for having a tourist season that I hope will be comparable to last year’s, which in the end wasn’t so bad in the context we’re in.”

Included in the digital version of the passport will be a QR code, the state you’re from and whether you have been vaccinated or not. The paper version will contain personal details such as name and date of birth and also the passport number that is certified with a QR code, detailing whether you’ve been vaccinated and if you’ve been a carrier of the disease.

READ ALSO: Could ‘health passports’ kickstart travel around Europe?

“For those who have had neither the vaccine nor the disease and for whom a PCR test will be requested, you can see the status of your PCR test,” he added.

The EU’s vaccination scheme has been dogged by delays and shortfalls, with controversy over AstraZeneca’s distribution of doses creating even more friction within the bloc.

After some countries paused the administration of AstraZeneca and later resumed the rollout, like Italy, other countries across Europe are currently not giving any of this firm’s doses to citizens, including Norway and Denmark.

But Breton insisted that any AstraZeneca vaccinations produced in the EU will stay there until the company delivers on its commitments.

READ ALSO: AstraZeneca vaccine ‘safe and effective’ against Covid-19, European Medicines Agency concludes

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