VACCINATION: A new Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is coming to Europe very soon
The vaccine against coronavirus Covid-19 by the US laboratory Johnson & Johnson will be delivered in Europe from April 19th, the company said on Monday. This vaccine was, in mid-March, the fourth to obtain the green light from the European Medicines Agency, after those of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca. It is currently only administered in the United States and South Africa, but it has also been approved in Canada.
To increase production and meet demand, Johnson & Johnson has made several agreements in recent months with laboratories and subcontractors in Europe, who will be responsible for its formulation or bottling: This involves Sanofi in France, Catalent in Italy, and IDT Biologika in Germany.
Only one dose required
The active substance, which gives the vaccine its effectiveness, will come from the Johnson & Johnson site in Leiden in the Netherlands. The EU , which has placed an order for 200 million doses from the American laboratory (with an option for 200 million additional doses), should receive some 55 million doses in the second quarter, Ursula von der Leyen explained in mid-March, the President of the European Commission. The laboratory, for its part, has not made public the exact schedule of its deliveries.
The vaccine is based on a viral vector, according to a technology already used by the company, in particular against the Ebola virus. It uses as a carrier of another low virulent virus-transformed to add genetic instructions from part of the virus responsible for Covid-19. Once in the cells, a typical SARS-CoV-2 protein is produced, educating the immune system to recognize it.
This vaccine is the first among those given a WHO green light to require only one injection instead of two, in addition to being able to be stored at refrigerator temperatures. The pharmaceutical group has also undertaken to sell it at cost price.