Johnson & Johnson’s to start delivery next month

Johnson & Johnson’s to start delivery next month

Kevin Galvin & Associated Press

The Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine will start being delivered to Europe on April 16th, the company has confirmed.

Ireland is expected to receive 600,000 doses of the vaccine in the next three months, with a total of 2.19 million doses secured for the Irish population.

The vaccine is different to the major vaccines thus far, as it can give protection in a single dose, and thus not only halve the amount of shots needed to immunise a person, but also dramatcially reduce the amount of time it takes for them to be fully immunised.


It's a major boost to Ireland's vaccine rollout, which has already suffered setbacks due to the AstraZeneca delay, with word emanating from yesterday's cabinet meeting that the latest announcement on the potential lifting of restrictions will leave many disappointed.

Covid variants

Health experts hope that having a one-dose vaccine will speed efforts to immunise the world against Covid-19, especially given the arrival of worrying new variants in recent months.

The EU has struggled to quickly roll out shots and immunise its most vulnerable citizens.

It ranks far behind countries including Israel, Britain, Chile and the US.


Europe recorded one million new Covid-19 cases last week, an increase of 9% from the previous week and a reversal that ended a six-week decline in new infections.

The World Health Organisation’s European office blamed that surge partly on virus variants, including one first identified in Britain that is thought to be 50 per cent more transmissible.

A massive study that spanned three continents found the J&J vaccine was 85 per cent effective in protecting against severe illness, hospital admissions and death.

That protection remained strong even in countries like South Africa, where variants have been identified that appear to be less susceptible to other licensed vaccines, including the one made by AstraZeneca.


J&J is also seeking emergency authorisation of its vaccine in Britain and by the World Health Organisation.

The company is hoping to make about one billion doses this year.

The vaccine has also been approved for use in Bahrain and Canada.

Fourth vaccine option

Experts say that having a fourth vaccine option across Europe, especially one that requires only one dose, could help immunise people quicker, even though significant amounts of the shot are unlikely to be available until the second half of 2021.

J&J has faced production delays in the US and Europe but has recently signed agreements with rival pharmaceuticals who will help make their vaccine.

In February, Sanofi Pasteur said it would be able to make about 12 million doses of the J&J vaccine at one of its French production sites once the shot is approved.

The European Medicines Agency authorised Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine on March 11th, giving the European Union’s 27 nations a fourth licensed vaccine to try to curb the pandemic amid a stalled vaccination drive in the bloc.

In a decision issued on Thursday, the EU medicines regulator said it was recommending the vaccine be authorised for all adults over 18 “after a thorough evaluation” of J&J’s data found the vaccine met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.

“With this latest positive opinion, authorities across the European Union will have another option to combat the pandemic and protect the lives and health of their citizens,” said Emer Cooke, EMA’s executive director.

The EMA has already approved Covid-19 vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca but all of those vaccines require two doses, several weeks apart.

In its statement, the EMA said the J&J vaccine was about 67 per cent effective, with the US Food and Drug Administration approving the J&J shot in late February.