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Thursday, April 15, 2021
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WHO approves J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency listing

The World Health Organization on Friday (March 12) approved the emergency listing of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, giving its seal of approval to expedite use especially in countries with weaker regulatory agencies.

It is the third COVID-19 vaccine after the two-shot regimens of Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca to receive backing from the WHO, and the first to be done in a single injection.

The listing covers use in all countries, for roll-out of the vaccine facility COVAX and follows the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorisation announcement on Thursday (March 11).

“We hope that this new vaccine will help to narrow vaccine inequalities and not deepen them,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference.

COVAX, co-run with the Gavi vaccine alliance, has an agreement for more than 500 million doses of the J&J vaccine, WHO senior adviser Bruce Aylward said.

“What we are trying to do is work with the company to bring that forward as early as possible. And we are hoping by at least July that we have access to doses that we can be rolling out, if not even earlier.”

(Production: Cecile Mantovani)

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