The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday issued emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, which is administered as a single dose.
“The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for Covid-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock.
“With today’s authorization, we are adding another vaccine in our medical toolbox to fight this virus,” said Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Johnson & Johnson’s shots are believed to be effective against the country’s 501Y.V2 variant.
This is great news for South Africa, whose regulators were awaiting for the FDA decision the government looks to deploy more J&J vaccine against a variant of the virus
The country, which has the highest number of Covid_19 infections in the continent, on Saturday received its second consignment of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines.
“Within just over one week, from a standing start, 63,648 patient-facing healthcare workers in the public and private sector have been vaccinated against Covid_19.” said the country’s health minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize.
South Africa plans to inoculate 40 million people, or two-thirds of the population, to achieve some level of herd immunity.
The country has thus far recorded 1.51M Coronavirus cases and 49,941 deaths.