Daily US Times: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has formally approved the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, the third Covid-19 vaccine to be authorised in the country.
The vaccine is set to be a cost-effective alternative to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer.
Trials found that the vaccine prevented serious illness but was 66% effective overall when moderate cases were included.
The United States is the first country to approve the vaccine, made by Belgian firm Janssen.
The firm has agreed to provide the US with 100 million doses by the end of June. The EU, UK and Canada have also ordered doses, and 500 million doses have also been ordered through the Covax scheme to supply poorer nations.
President Biden hailed it as “exciting news for all Americans, and an encouraging development”, but warned that the “fight is far from over”.
The US President said in a statement: “Though we celebrate today’s news, I urge all Americans – keep washing your hands, stay socially distanced, and keep wearing masks.”
The FDA authorised the single-shot vaccine after an external committee of experts unanimously backed the vaccine on Friday.
Results from trials conducted in the United States, Brazil and South Africa showed it was more than 85% effective at preventing serious illness, and 66% effective overall when moderate cases were included.
Notably, there were no deaths among participants of the clinical trials who had received the vaccine and no hospital admissions after 28 days post-vaccine.