Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India’s apex drug regulator on Saturday approved the single dose Covid vaccine by Janssen, a subsidiary of the US pharma giant Johnson and Johnson, making it the fifth vaccine against coronavirus to receive emergency use authorisation  for the national vaccination drive.

“India expands its vaccine basket! J&J’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine is given approval for Emergency Use in India. Now India has 5 EUA vaccines,” tweeted Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandwiya.

The company had applied for the EUA, along with Serum Institute of India which sought the same approval for its version of Novavax Covid vaccine, on Thursday.

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As per the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, J&J’s Covid vaccine was shown to be 66.3% effective in efficacy trials at preventing laboratory-confirmed Covid infection and people had the most protection 2 weeks after getting vaccinated.

A company statement issued in July says that the vaccine is nearly 85% effective against severe or critical disease and demonstrates protection against hospitalization and death.

“The advantage of this viral vector-based vaccine is that it is a single shot vaccine and can be stored in regular refrigerators for up to 3 months,” a senior government official said adding that given its cost of about Rs 2000 per dose, it may be mainly available in private hospitals in the coming days.

#Breaking: J & J’s single dose #CovidVaccine granted emergency use permission by the DGCI. It becomes fifth Covid vaccine to be approved in India.@NewIndianXpress #COVID
— Sumi Dutta (@SumiSukanya) August 7, 2021
The firm had also said that the vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibody activity against the delta variant was at an even higher level than what was recently observed for the beta variant in South Africa where high efficacy against this strain had been demonstrated.

J & J has tied up with Hyderabad based Biological E for the global supply chain network, hoping to supply its Covid vaccine Janssen through extensive collaborations and partnerships with governments, health authorities and organisations such as Gavi and the COVAX Facility.

The vaccine had received emergency use authorization in the US in February followed by Conditional Marketing Authorisation in March.