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World

US authorizes Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

  • The move comes a day after the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously voted to approve the vaccine
  • The vaccine has shown 85 percent efficacy against severe forms of COVID-19 and prevents serious illness
Updated 28 Feb 2021

(Karachi) The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, local media reported on Sunday. It is the third vaccine on the US market that has been given approval for the purpose.

As per details, the move comes a day after the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously voted to approve the vaccine.

Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said, "The FDA, through our open and transparent scientific review process, has now authorized three COVID-19 vaccines with the urgency called for during this pandemic, using the agency's rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization."

President Joe Biden hailed it as "exciting news for all Americans, and an encouraging development", but warned that the "fight is far from over".

Earlier in December, the FDA granted emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines. The vaccines are said to be 95 per cent and 94 per cent effective, respectively. However, Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine requires only a single shot.

Trial results have shown that Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 85 percent effective against severe forms of COVID-19 and prevented serious illness. The vaccine is set to be a cost-effective alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer.

The vaccine is made by the Belgian firm Janssen.