The UK today (28 May) approves use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine that provides enough protection against the virus in one injection
In February, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found Johnson & Johnson to perform at a level of 86% effective against COVID-19. When it is given in a single-dose, the drug can give a protection of 66%.
The drugmaker is one of the most viable options for populations seeking to create immunity as fast as possible. The vaccine can be kept at a standard fridge temperature for three months, then at -20°C for two years. This means that an existing cold supply chain can transport the vaccines, which makes it a good candidate for countries without ultra-cold storage capacity.
Matt Hancock, health secretary, said: “This is a further boost to the UK’s hugely successful vaccination programme, which has already saved over 13,000 lives, and means that we now have four safe and effective vaccines approved to help protect people from this awful virus.”
In April, 2021, the US stopped Johnson roll-out for over a week as they investigate reports of blood clots. Similar to the AstraZeneca vaccine, the incidents have been extremely rare and medical experts authorised the vaccine to continue being given to the population.
How effective is Johnson & Johnson against variants?
According to the research done by the FDA, when it comes to the South African mutation, vaccine efficiency drops to 57%. The Brazilian mutation also creates a decrease in power, with a 66% result seen in trials conducted in Latin America.
There is no current data on how the vaccine deals with the Indian variant.
Alex Gorsky, Chairman, Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson, commented: “We’re proud to have reached this critical milestone and our commitment to address this global health crisis continues with urgency for everyone, everywhere.”
The UK has ordered 20 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.