J&J COVID-19 vaccine could be available in Europe in April - source

By Francesco Guarascio BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson could deliver the first doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe in April, an EU official told Reuters on Wednesday after a top lawmaker said the U.S. healthcare company was likely to seek EU regulatory approval in February

Reuters January 14, 2021 01:05:50 IST
J&J COVID-19 vaccine could be available in Europe in April - source

JJ COVID19 vaccine could be available in Europe in April  source

By Francesco Guarascio

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson could deliver the first doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe in April, an EU official told Reuters on Wednesday after a top lawmaker said the U.S. healthcare company was likely to seek EU regulatory approval in February.

Clinical data on the vaccine has been assessed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since Dec. 1 under a rolling review to speed up possible approval.

A senior EU official, who is involved in negotiations with vaccine makers and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the J&J shot could be available from April 1 in Europe [B5N2B301Q].

Earlier on Wednesday, an EU lawmaker said J&J could seek EU approval for its one-shot vaccine in February.

"EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides announced during our (EU lawmakers) group meeting this morning that the vaccine manufacturer Johnson & Johnson is likely to submit an application for approval to the EU for their vaccine in February," said Peter Liese, who speaks on health matters for the EU's centre-right group, the assembly's largest.

Following Liese's comments, a spokesman for Kyriakides said: "We cannot give any precise indications regarding an application for conditional marketing authorisation, but we of course hope that an application could be submitted in the coming weeks."

EMA, in a statement, said "a date for submission of a marketing authorisation application has not yet been confirmed."

J&J had no immediate comment on the timeline described by the EU source and the lawmaker, which appeared to be slightly behind expectations for the vaccine in the United States.

J&J Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Paul Stoffels told Reuters the drugmaker expects to have clear data on how effective its vaccine is by the end of this month or early February and was on track for a U.S. rollout in March.

The EU drugs regulator had said in December it expected the J&J to apply in the first quarter of this year.

It took EMA 20 days to approve the vaccine developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc, and just over a month to authorise the Moderna Inc shot after their applications were submitted in early December. The two vaccines are so far the only ones approved in the EU, while AstraZeneca submitted its application on Tuesday.

"If all goes well, we will already have the fourth corona vaccine available in a few weeks," Liese added.

The EU has booked 200 million doses of the J&J vaccine and has an option to order another 200 million shots. The J&J vaccine is administered as a single shot, while those from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech require two doses three or four weeks apart for full protection.

The EU has invested about 360 million euros ($438 million) to secure the J&J vaccine with a downpayment that would need to be complemented with payments by EU governments willing to buy the vaccine after approval.

The U.S. government secured 100 million doses from the company for $1 billion in an August agreement, with an option to buy an additional 200 million doses.

($1 = 0.8216 euros)

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Additional reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Jason Neely, Louise Heavens and Bill Berkrot)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.