J&J's Covid vaccine approved for emergency use in India

Johnson and Johnson's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine approved for emergency use in India

Earlier, J&J had applied for clinical trials for its vaccines in India but withdrew the proposal when informed about the new vaccine approval guidelines

Credit: Reuters Photo

The Government on Saturday announced that Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine has been granted Emergency Use Approval (EUA) in India.

With the approval J&J’s vaccines, India now has five vaccines for its nationwide immunisation drive which clocked over 50 crore doses on Friday.

“This will further boost our nation's collective fight against Covid-19,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, announcing the grant of EUA to J&J.

J&J had applied for the EUA on Friday and it was granted the same day.

The faster approval came under the relaxed guidelines that allow use vaccines approved by the regulatory authorities in the US, Britain, Europe and Japan, or which were on the World Health Organization's Emergency Use Listing.

India’s vaccine basket now has five vaccines – Serum Institute's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Russia's Sputnik V, Moderna and now Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

Earlier, J&J had applied for clinical trials for its vaccines in India but withdrew the proposal when informed about the new vaccine approval guidelines.

Indigenously developed Corbevax, manufactured by Hyderabad-based Biological-E and Covovax produced by Serum Institute too would be available for the vaccination drive soon.

Over the past week, Health Minister Mandaviya held meetings with vaccine manufacturers and took updates about the production capabilities of the vaccines.

Among those who met Mandaviya were Mahima Datla, Managing Director of Biological E, Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla, Satish Reddy, Chairman of Dr Reddy’s Labs.

India has administered 50.10 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines since the vaccination drive began on January 16 of which over 39 crore persons have received one dose of the vaccine, while more than 11 crore persons have received both doses of the vaccine.