Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE: JNJ) one-dose coronavirus vaccine has been approved by the European Union, the fourth licensed vaccine to be authorized for the E.U’s 27 nations. On Thursday, the E.U. medicines regulator announced it was advising the vaccine to be certified for people over 18 “after a thorough evaluation” of the company’s data verified the shot proved to be safe.
“With this latest positive opinion, authorities across the European Union will have another option to combat the pandemic and protect the lives and health of their citizens,” said Emer Cooke, EMA’s executive director.
The vaccine has several benefits over other vaccines currently available such as only requiring a single dose and being stored in almost any standard refrigerator at temperatures of 2-8 degrees celsius. The factors make it easier and more affordable to ship and store the doses.
Nevertheless, although J&J’s vaccine is easier to transport, it has proven to be less effective compared to Pfizer and Moderna’s coronavirus shots. Data has shown that it provides a decent level of protection, with an overall effectiveness of 66%. Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines have proven to be 95% effective.
Amid a delay in vaccine rollouts, the E.U. has battled to immunize the most vulnerable citizens. Europe registered 1 million new Covid-19 cases just last week, a 9% rise compared to the previous week. According to the World Health organization’s European department, the surge was in part caused by the virus variants recently discovered.
Experts believe that providing a fourth vaccine option within Europe will aid in the rapid immunization of citizens. Large amounts of the shots are expected to be available in the second half of 2021.