Vaccines 'should be offered to those aged 40-49' says expert
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Johnson and Johnson’s pharmaceutical arm Janssen recently followed Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca in developing an effective Covid vaccine. Unlike their predecessors, however, the jab is the first to require a single dose. Several countries are now eyeing approval and one has already cleared it for public use.
Has the MHRA approved the Johnson and Johnson vaccine?
US officials became the first to approve the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, made by Belgian firm Janssen, this weekend.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided emergency use authorisation which allows officials to distribute the Janssen jab to “individuals 18 years and over”.
The UK has ordered 30 million doses of the jab, but there is no indication of coming distribution approval.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which evaluates and approves medication in the UK, has not announced when it will clear the Janssen vaccine.
A senior source has suggested the organisation is ready to start the ball rolling and the process was “very likely” to start in the coming week.
They added: “We are working with them to complete the rolling review process and we look forward to receiving more data from them as soon as possible.”
Janssen reported its successful phase III clinical trial results in late January, which the Government hailed.
At the time, business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said with approval, the UK would receive the jab in the “second half” of 2021.
He said: “Thanks to the life-saving work of our Vaccine Taskforce, the UK moved quickly to secure 30 million doses of Janssen’s vaccine last summer.
“If this vaccine is authorised by our medicines regulator, we are set to receive the doses in the second half of this year.”
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“To date, the UK government has secured early access to a bumper portfolio of 367 million vaccine doses from seven separate vaccine developers, with Janssen’s vaccine the fifth to publish its phase 3 results.”
Health minister Matt Hancock expanded on how the Janssen vaccine could secure UK approval.
He said the jab would first have to meet “robust” standards set by the MHRA.
Mr Hancock said: “If this jab is approved this could significantly bolster our vaccination programme, especially as a single-dose vaccine.”
“Once the full data has been submitted to the regulator they will consider the evidence to determine whether the vaccine meets robust standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.”
The second half of the year would fall between July and December, potentially after health officials finish vaccinating British adults.
The vaccine roadmap announced by Boris Johnson foresees a return to “normality” by June 21 at the earliest.
Government documents state by then it hopes to “be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.”
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