EMA approves Dutch coronavirus vaccine for use in EU
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the so-called Dutch coronavirus vaccine, developed by pharmaceutical company Janssen, for use in the EU.
EMA approves Dutch coronavirus vaccine
This is the fourth coronavirus vaccine to be approved by the EMA in less than three months. The vaccine is reported to be 66 percent effective against COVID-19 after only two weeks, according to the Medicines Protection Board (MEB), which is a lower efficacy than the vaccines already approved by the EMA, but the Janssen vaccine is still 85 percent effective in preventing serious symptoms of the virus (and therefore hospitalisation), and 100 percent effective in preventing death from the virus.
The difference between the Janssen vaccine and its predecessors is that it only requires one jab as opposed to two. It is also significantly easier to transport and store as it can be kept at refrigerator temperature.
The Netherlands orders 11,3 million doses of Janssen jab
The Netherlands has ordered a total of 11,3 million doses of the vaccine, which was developed in Leiden. Three million of these doses are set to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021, with a further six million delivered in the third quarter and 2,3 million in the fourth quarter.
It is expected that the Janssen vaccine will mostly be used among people between the ages of 18 and 60 with or without any pre-existing health conditions. The first doses are likely to be delivered at the end of April or the beginning of May, but earlier this week Janssen said it would not be possible to deliver the 55 million doses the EU has ordered on time due to production issues.
In spite of this news, Diederik Gommers, chairman of the Dutch Association for Intensive Care, has said this vaccine marks a "big tipping point" for coronavirus vaccinations in the Netherlands.