The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday listed the COVID-19 vaccine Ad26.COV2.S, developed by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), for emergency use in all countries and for COVAX roll-out.
The decision comes on the back of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorization, which was announced on March 11, WHO said.
Read alsoNovavax vaccine 96% effective against original coronavirus, 86% vs UK variant – media"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.
The vaccine from Janssen is the first to be listed by WHO as a single dose regimen, which should facilitate vaccination logistics in all countries. The ample data from large clinical trials shared by the company also shows that the vaccine is effective in older populations.
While the vaccine needs to be stored at -20 degrees, which may prove challenging in some environments, it can be kept for three months at 2-8°C and it has a long shelf life of two years.
WHO will convene its Strategic Advisory Group on Immunization Experts next week to formulate recommendations on use of the vaccine. In the meantime, WHO continues to work with countries and COVAX partners to prepare for roll-out and safety monitoring. The COVAX Facility has booked 500 million doses of the vaccine.