Story at a glance
- Johnson & Johnson will begin shipping its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to EU countries.
- The company pledged 200 million doses throughout 2021.
- Regulators are studying instances of blood clots in some vaccine recipients.
On Monday, Johnson & Johnson announced that it would begin shipping its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to European Union countries, Reuters reports.
“The first doses are leaving warehouses for member states today,” a European Commission spokesman confirmed in a news conference on Monday.
Clinical data released by the company in January suggests that just one shot of its vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S, elicits neutralizing antibodies in more than 90 percent of its volunteers that lasts for about 71 days.
A later analysis conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that it is about 66 percent effective and safe.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine differentiates itself from other approved vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, since it is administered in a single dose rather than a double. This could potentially help a wider population have some level of protection against COVID-19 at a faster rate.
The U.S. pledged to deliver about 55 million doses to EU countries by the end of June and another 120 million from July to September.
Johnson & Johnson has a goal to deliver a total of 200 million doses to the EU, Norway and Iceland within 2021.
This comes as EU regulators are reviewing the vaccine as blood clots have been reported in four patients vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine candidate, mirroring similar problems reported with the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
Out of four confirmed cases of blood clots following vaccination, three occurred among U.S. patients. One person reportedly died, and one case was also seen in clinical trials.
“At present, no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events and the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine,” the company reportedly said in an emailed statement.