European Medicines Agency approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine
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European Medicines Agency approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Credit: Belga

On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine for people from 18 years old.

After evaluation, EMA concluded by consensus that the vaccine met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality, the Agency said in a press release.

Following Pfizer/BioNtech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson is now the fourth vaccine that has been recommended for use in the EU for preventing Covid-19.

“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,” said Emer Cooke, EMA’s Executive Director.

This is the first vaccine that can be used as a single dose, which may give vaccination campaigns – including Belgium’s – a boost.

According to EMA, studies showed that the most common side effects of the vaccine were pain at the injection site, headache, tiredness, muscle pain and nausea, but added that they were usually “mild or moderate, and cleared within a couple of days after vaccination.”

Following the EMA’s recommendation, the European Commission still has to give its final approval for use in the EU.

Belgium ordered about 5 million doses of the vaccine, which could be delivered from early April. If everything goes according to plan, it could be administered from mid-April.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times