Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine under review for France
The vaccine offers 80% protection against severe forms of the deadly virus
France's Haute Autorité de Santé is expected to deliver its verdict on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the end of the week, its president has said.
Dominique Le Guludec told LCI that he hoped to be able to publicly declare whether the American multinational pharma corporation's vaccine should be authorised for use in France "by the end of the week, Friday or Saturday".
His announcement follows one from the European Medicines Agency, which said last week that its Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use would deliver its assessment of the one-dose vaccine on Thursday, March 11.
Already in use in the United States the vaccine is more than 80% effective against severe forms of Covid-19, falling to 66% for symptomatic cases that do not require hospitalisation.
Those figures are lower than the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines already in circulation in France, but recipients would require only one injection to receive full protection.
A study in January found it was 57% effective against the South African variant of the virus.
Vaccination rates are picking up in France. On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Jean Castex said that more than 500,000 vaccinations had taken place since Friday in France. If approved, the Johnson & Johnson inoculation would allow more people still to be treated quickly, as the government aims to reach a revised target of 30million people by the summer.
Since December 26, 3,772,579 people have received a first injection of the vaccine, according to data released by Public Health France on Sunday. Of these, 1,920,395 people received the second dose of the vaccine