EU gives final approval to Johnson & Johnson vaccine

EU gives final approval to Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The European Commission gave approval for the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, the final step to allowing the European Union to use it across the bloc.

“More safe and effective vaccines are coming to the market. We have just authorised the use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine in the EU, following EMA positive review,” Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission wrote on Twitter.

The COVID-19 shot is the fourth to be endorsed for use in the European Union 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. It’s the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

The United States, Canada and Bahrain have also approved the shot. South Africa is carrying out an expedited review.

The first shipments will start in the second half of April, the company said, adding it is committed to delivering at least 200 million doses to the EU this year, Reuters reported.

Exact volumes are not clear though and the U.S. drugmaker has told the European Union it is facing supply issues that may complicate plans to deliver the 55 million doses due in the second quarter in full.