A third vaccine against the disease COVID-19 can now be used in the USA: The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) has granted the Johnson & Johnson preparation emergency approval. Approval of this vaccine in the EU has also been applied for, but a decision on it is still pending.
Only one vaccination required
The product from the US medical device manufacturer Johnson & Johnson is the first that only needs to be injected once. In contrast, the preparations from competitors Moderna and BioNTech / Pfizer, which are already approved in the USA, require two vaccinations. Johnson & Johnson filed for approval in early February, and the FDA granted it this Saturday.
US President Biden welcomed the admission and spoke on Saturday of “exciting news for all Americans and encouraging developments in our endeavors to end the crisis”. However, the availability of a third vaccine does not mean the all-clear – it is still important to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible and to keep distance and hygiene rules.
Less protection than the competition
In mid-February, Johnson & Johnson had also applied for emergency approval from the EU Medicines Agency (EMA) through its subsidiary Janssen-Cilag International NV. The EMA wants to test the preparation against the disease transmitted by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an accelerated process, the responsible committee is expected to give its assessment in mid-March.
At the end of January, Johnson & Johnson announced an interim result of its Phase III study with around 44,000 subjects, according to which the vaccine offers 66 percent protection against moderate or severe COVID-19 disease courses four weeks after administration. The effectiveness against serious illnesses was given with 85 percent. The percentages mean that there were correspondingly fewer cases in the vaccinated test group than in the placebo test group. However, according to study results, the effectiveness of some competing products is higher.