France gives green light to Johnson & Johnson vaccine just after WHO approval

“Each new safe and effective tool against Covid-19 is one more step towards controlling the pandemic,” commented WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The WHO has already approved the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, as well as that from Astrazeneca-Oxford manufactured in India and South Korea. These vaccines require two doses to be injected, and Pfizer’s vaccine can only be stored at ultra-cold temperatures.

Conversely, Johnson & Johnson serum can be kept in a conventional refrigerator.

The green light given on Friday makes it possible to integrate this vaccine into the Covax system set up by the Alliance for Vaccines (Gavi), the WHO and the CEPI, the research arm of the mechanism, to try to ensure an equitable distribution of vaccines that are not yet manufactured in sufficient quantities to meet demand.

Dr. Tedros said the Covax system expects to receive 500 million doses of the new vaccine “as soon as possible”. Bruce aylward, an adviser to the general manager, said he expected the first doses “in July or even before”.

In the wake of the WHO announcement, France gave the green light to the single-dose vaccine, recommending that it be used “preferentially” in areas where the epidemic is “particularly active”.

The health authority believes that this American single injection vaccine, the fourth to be authorized in France, “can be used from the age of 18”, “including in people aged 65 and over and / or “at risk for serious forms of Covid.

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