WHO lists Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use
The World Health Organization on March 12 listed the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) for emergency use in all countries, saying that more than 335 million jabs have been safely administered worldwide to date.
The decision followed the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorization a day before and made it the fourth vaccine to receive WHO emergency use approval.
"More than 335 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally so far, and no deaths have been found to have been caused by COVID-19 vaccines," said WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus at a bi-weekly webinar hosted by WHO.
He, however, noted the pandemic has killed 2.6 million people on the planet.
"Every new, safe and effective tool against COVID-19 is another step closer to controlling the pandemic," said Tedros.
"But the hope offered by these tools will not materialize unless they are made available to all people in all countries," he added.
Tedros urged governments and companies to meet their commitments and use all possible solutions to ramp up production so that these tools become "truly global public goods," available and affordable to all, and a shared solution to the global crisis.
Emergency use listing is the green light for a vaccine to be procured and rolled out by COVAX.
COVAX Is a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines led by UNICEF; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, CEPI, and others.
"The J&J vaccine is the first to be listed as a single-dose regimen," said Tedros.
WHO has also listed the Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca-SK Bio, and Serum Institute of India’s vaccines for emergency use.