The UK Medicines Agency has given the go-ahead for a fourth Covid vaccine . The Johnson & Johnson Jab, manufactured by the US subsidiary Janssen, will play an important role in the UK vaccination program.
It will be the fourth vaccine approved for protection in the UK Covid-19 and its variants and is used in conjunction with the existing BioNTech joints from Oxford AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer.
Here is everything you need to know about the new J&J vaccine, including what makes it different and who can expect to receive it.
Where does the Johnson & Johnson vaccine come from?
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was manufactured by Janssen, the company’s Belgian subsidiary.
The pharmaceutical giant’s vaccine has been tested on more than 44,000 people in America, Brazil and South Africa.
The shock was found to be 85% effective in stopping serious illnesses caused by Covid-19 and it was approved after meeting expected safety standards.
How is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine different from the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine?
The main difference between the Janssen vaccine and the three shots that are present is how many shots it takes for it to be effective.
The AstraZeneca Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech vaccines each require two doses, three to twelve weeks apart. The introduction of the J&J vaccine will drastically reduce the time to build immunity as recipients only need one dose.
The new vaccine is most similar to the AstraZeneca sting and uses the same technology for viral vectors (genetically modified virus). While the Oxford vaccine uses a chimpanzee adenovirus, Johnson & Johnson instead supplies a protein from the top of the coronavirus through a common cold in humans.
Like the AstraZeneca bump, the J&J vaccine can be stored at normal refrigerator temperature and is estimated to be stable for up to two years at a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius.
In comparison, both the Pfizer and Moderna batches have to be stored in freezing temperatures, which makes it difficult to transport.
Who will get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
The UK has ordered 20 million cans that are due to arrive later this year.
The new vaccine will be used for anyone aged 18 and over waiting to be bitten and can also be used later this year as part of a refresher program for nursing home residents and other vulnerable groups.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is another boost to the UK’s hugely successful vaccination program, which has saved over 13,000 lives, and means we now have four safe and effective vaccines approved to protect people from this terrible vaccine are virus. “
The EU has also ordered 400 million doses of the vaccine made by Janssen.