UK approves Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine

Department of Health says drug will be available later this year

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Regulators in the UK have approved the use of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot coronavirus vaccine.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said that the drug met safety and quality standards. The decision makes it the fourth Covid-19 shot available in the UK.

The Department of Health said the government had decided to order 20 million doses of the single-shot vaccine, also known as Janssen, amending an original order for 30 million doses. The vaccine will be available later this year.

"As Janssen is a single-dose vaccine, it will play an important role in the months to come as we redouble our efforts to encourage everyone to get their jabs and potentially begin a booster programme later this year," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

The drug is already approved in the US but its use was paused for 10 days after concerns over blood clots.

The shot uses similar viral vector technology to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has also been linked to very rare blood-clotting incidents.