The European Medicines Agency authorizes Janssen's single dose vaccine
Europe now has its fourth vaccine authorised, and its first single-dose formula to arrive in the country next month. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has today authorized the distribution of Janssen's prophylaxis in the European Union, Ad26.COV2-S, according to the agency, which highlighted the safety of this compound, since it has only shown "effects generally mild or moderate secondary factors' that disappeared a couple of days after inoculation. This vaccine joins those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, which are already being inoculated among the 27 EU member states.
Spain, within agreements closed by the European Commission that has purchased 200 million doses, expects to have 21 million doses of this formula from the Belgian subsidiary of the North American giant Johnson & Johnson, a volume that, according to the agreements, would be expandable to a similar amount in the future.
Although in February, in parliament, the head of the Ministry of Health, Carolina Darias, announced that the distribution of Janssen doses would begin in April, the truth is that in the Spanish Government there are doubts about the exact date of the arrival of vials, since the laboratory warned last week of readjustments in the production directed to the EU. In any case, Darias was convinced today, that in the second quarter Spain will receive at least 5.5 million doses of the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.
At the end of January, Janssen announced that his studies indicated that his formula, based on human adenovirus 26 technology, has "general efficacy in preventing the disease,” in a large trial against multiple variants carried out on three continents. In the tests, in which almost 44,000 volunteers took part, the level of protection against moderate and severe Covid-19 ranged from 72% in the United States to 66% in Latin America, but only 57% in South Africa due to the new highly contagious strain.
Therefore, the efficacy of this vaccine is well below the 95% presented by its two great rivals already authorized in the US and the EU (Pfizer and Moderna), but it has the advantage that it is a single dose prophylaxis and that its transport and maintenance is very simple. It can be stable for two years at -20ºC, and for at least three months in most standard refrigerators at temperatures between 2.2 and 7.7ºC, unlike the other three vaccines that are already being distributed among the EU members.
These two factors, the need for a single dose and its easy conservation, together with the fact that this fourth formula can be administered to any group over 18 years of age, with full protection 28 days after vaccination, have made Healthcare trust that the arrival of the Janssen formula will give a decisive boost to the vaccination campaign to help achieve the promised goal of having 70% of the country's population vaccinated by the end of summer.
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Spain has played an important role in the development of the Janssen vaccine, since phase 2 and phase 3 trials have been developed in hospitals in Madrid, Barcelona, Santander and Pamplona.