LONDON, May 28 (Xinhua) — A single-dose coronavirus vaccine made by Janssen has been approved for use in Britain, the British Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced Friday.
The vaccine, developed by U.S. multinational corporation Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical arm Janssen, will be the fourth vaccine to be used in Britain to protect against COVID-19, following Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna.
“This is a further boost to the UK’s hugely successful vaccination program, which has already saved over 13,000 lives, and means that we now have four safe and effective vaccines approved to help protect people from this awful virus,” said British Health Secretary Matt Hancock in a statement.
“As Janssen is a single-dose vaccine, it will play an important role in the months to come as we redouble our efforts to encourage everyone to get their jabs and potentially begin a booster program later this year.”
The MHRA is thought to have held back from early approval of the Janssen vaccine after concerns were raised in the United States about a possible link to extremely rare blood clots, similar to those rare cases possibly caused by the AstraZeneca jab, according to Sky News.
Earlier this year, the single-dose vaccine was shown to be 67 percent effective overall in preventing COVID-19 infection and 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease or hospitalisation, according to a statement by the British Department of Health and Social Care.
Twenty million doses have been ordered for Britain and will arrive later this year.
More than 38.6 million people, or about three-quarters of adults in Britain, have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.
Experts have warned that coronavirus may continue to evolve for years to come, and eventually it is likely current vaccines will fail to protect against transmission, infection, or even against disease caused by newer variants.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. Enditem