WHO approves Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine

Decision comes a day after the EU medicines regulator backed the jab

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The World Health Organisation approved Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in all countries on Friday, a day after the EU’s medicines regulator also backed the shot.

The WHO said clinical trials showed the vaccine was effective in older populations and it will be used in the Covax initiative, which seeks to ensure all countries have access to Covid inoculations.

“Every new, safe and effective tool against Covid-19 is another step closer to controlling the pandemic,” said WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“But the hope offered by these tools will not materialise unless they are made available to all people in all countries. I urge governments and companies to live up to their commitments and to use all solutions at their disposal 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.”

It becomes the third vaccine to be approved by WHO after the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found in trials to be 67 per cent effective at preventing people from getting Covid-19 and 85.4 per cent effective at preventing severe disease.