India approves J&J vaccine

India approves J&J vaccine

India’s health minister on Saturday confirmed that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in India.

“India expands its vaccine basket! Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine is given approval for Emergency Use in India,” Mansukh Mandaviya said in a tweet. “Now India has 5 EUA vaccines. This will further boost our nation's collective fight against #COVID19.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The drugmaker said Friday that it had sought emergency use approval for its COVID-19 vaccine in India, Reuters reported. The company told the wire service in a statement that it could not provide a timeline on its vaccine delivery.

In addition to Johnson & Johnson, India has also authorized four other vaccines created by Moderna, AstraZeneca, Gamaleya Institute and Bharat Biotech, according to Reuters.

India has continued to report confirmed COVID-19 cases in the tens of thousands. The country saw 44,643 confirmed cases on Friday, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO). 

However, it’s a stark contrast to the numbers India was seeing in late April and early May where confirmed cases approached hundreds of thousands. The country has seen a total of roughly 31.9 million cases since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, only eight percent of India’s total population has been fully vaccinated. 

Countries are racing to get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines as the delta variant and others strike vulnerable, unvaccinated populations. 

Even the U.S. has seen a resurgence in COVID-19 cases with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updating its masking guidance recommending that fully vaccinated individuals mask up in public, indoor spaces in areas with higher rates of COVID-19 transmission.