The promising new vaccine is simpler to administer and easier to distribute
Rabat – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. The new vaccine has been lauded as a COVID-19 vaccine that is simpler to administer because it does not require two doses.
The FDA approved the new COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the US, with California receiving 380,000 doses next week, according to California’s Governor Gavin Newsom.
The Johnson & Johnson jab is a viral vector vaccine that is based on a harmless adenovirus that is given pieces of the COVID-19 virus’ spike protein. Once injected the vaccine allows the vaccinated to start producing the spike protein and build antibodies against the virus.
According to the FDA, the new COVID-19 vaccine is 72% effective at preventing regular cases and 86% effective against severe cases. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is hoped to help reduce hospital admissions which have been a key concern during peaks in local COVID-19 epidemics.
The new vaccine differs from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which are both mRNA vaccines that do not use an adenovirus. Existing mRNA vaccines require to be stored at extreme temperatures, complicating their rollout, particularly in less affluent countries.
Johnson & Johnson’s new vaccine is providing a glimmer of hope in the current ugly war for vaccines, dominated by a few rich countries claiming global stocks.
South Africa has already announced it will switch to annul its planned rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines and instead opt for Johnson & Johnson’s new vaccine. The country was the first to approve the new vaccine last week, ordering 9 million doses. South Africa will donate its remaining stocks of Astrazeneca vaccines to the African Union instead.