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One shot Janssen COVID vaccine given green light by UK Government

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The UK Government has announced that a fourth COVID vaccine has been approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after meeting the required safety, quality and effectiveness standards.

The Janssen vaccine is the first to be approved for protection against COVID-19 with a single dose.

The vaccine’s approval comes after trials showed that it was 85% effective in stopping severe illness. The UK Government has ordered twenty million doses of the vaccine which is expected to arrive later this year.

Janssen is part of American pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson.

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive, said: “We have undertaken a thorough review of the conditional marketing authorisation application submitted by Janssen, including the information on quality, safety and effectiveness. I am pleased to confirm today that this authorisation has been granted.

“This is encouraging news for the public and the healthcare sector. We now have four safe and effective vaccines approved to help protect us from COVID-19.

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“Our work does not end here. We are continually monitoring all COVID-19 vaccines in use once they have been approved to ensure that the benefits in protecting people against the disease continue to outweigh any risks.

“The safety of the public will always come first – you can be absolutely sure of our commitment to this.”

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The MHRA also obtained independent scientific advice from the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) and its COVID-19 Expert Working Group.

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the independent Commission on Human Medicines, said: “The independent Commission on Human Medicines and its COVID-19 Expert Working Group have carefully considered the MHRA’s evaluation of the application submitted by Janssen and are pleased to say that we have given the vaccine a positive recommendation.

“This is yet another win for the vaccination programme, which has saved thousands of lives so far.”

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The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is due to provide advice on who should receive this vaccine.

The Belgian-made jab has already been authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, part of the MHRA, is carrying out independent batch release on all of the approved COVID-19 vaccines to ensure that every batch meets the expected quality standards, and will do so for the COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen.

(Lead image: Flickr / Creative Commons)


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