EU to approve J&J coronavirus vaccine in coming weeks: Germany’s Health Minister

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Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine is expected to be given European Union approval in the next two to four weeks, according to German Health Minister Jens Spahn.

Spahn added that Germany would have no problem using the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as long as data and testing conformed with EU standards.

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Johnson & Johnson said on Friday it had submitted data to the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use listing of its COVID-19 vaccine, which would allow for wider access of the one-dose shot.

J&J said an emergency use listing is a prerequisite for supplying vaccines to the COVAX vaccine program, co-led by WHO, which aims to deliver doses to poor and middle-income countries.

The J&J vaccine is administered in a single dose and can be stored at normal fridge temperatures, a big selling point in countries with relatively weaker healthcare infrastructure.

The vaccine is under review by the US health regulator, and a panel of the Food and Drug Administration’s experts are expected to discuss the vaccine’s emergency use authorization next week.

The vaccine is being rolled out in South Africa, for the first time outside a major clinical trial.

J&J said last month the vaccine was 66 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in a large late-stage global trial against multiple variants of the coronavirus. The level of protection of the vaccine varied from 72 percent in the United States, to 66 percent in Latin America and 57 percent in South Africa.

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