Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine set for EU approval in March
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Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine set for EU approval in March

Credit: Belga

The vaccine being developed by Belgian-based company Janssen Pharmaceutica for US-based Johnson & Johnson is set to receive approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on 11 March, a source at the European Union told Bloomberg news agency.

Once approval has been granted, it will be the fourth vaccine to receive acceptance to be administered in the EU, together with AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna.

The EU has ordered 200 million doses for its member states, and Belgium has ordered 5 million doses of this particular vaccine, which requires just one shot and can be stored in a regular refrigerator.

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The Belgian government is expecting the delivery of 280,500 doses from the vaccine manufacturer by April, two months earlier than previously planned, De Tijd reported this week.

Following several trials, the efficacy rate was found to be 66%, which is considerably lower than that of other already approved vaccines including the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which offer about 90% protection.

Two other vaccines, produced by German company CureVac and US-based Novavax are also awaiting approval from EMA.

The approval of these new vaccines could help steamroll the EU and Belgian’s delayed vaccine rollout, which has faced challenges caused by delays and reductions in deliveries.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times