India approves Johnson & Johnson’s anti-Covid vaccine
New Delhi, Aug 7 (EFE).- The Indian government announced on Saturday that the anti-Covid vaccine of United States-based lab Johnson & Johnson has been approved for emergency use in India, becoming the fifth serum to be granted approval in the country.
“Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine is given approval for Emergency Use in India,” tweeted Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandavia.
“Now India has 5 emergency use approved vaccines. This will further boost our nation’s collective fight against #COVID19,” he added.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has two advantages, it is easier to store compared to other serums due to not requiring extremely low temperatures, and providing full immunization with just a single dose.
This vaccine is the latest addition to India’s vaccination program along with the indigenous Covaxin – developed by local lab Bharat Biotech – AstraZeneca’s Covishield, Russia’s Sputnik V and another US vaccine Moderna.
Covishield is mass produced in the country by the Serum Institute of India.
The approval comes at a time when India is trying to boost its vaccination campaign, which has been criticized for its slow progress due to the lack of sufficient doses in a country with over 1.35 billion people, despite being one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world.
Since the drive began in January, India has administered 500 million vaccine doses, including nearly 5 million in the last 24 hours, but only 110 million people have been fully vaccinated with both doses.
In order to cover more people, the country restricted exports in May and has authorized the use of foreign-made vaccines.
Authorities have reserved 70 percent of the local vaccine production for free-of-cost distribution in an attempt to satisfy domestic demand.