Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen-Cilag International could apply for approval in the European Union for its COVID-19 vaccine in February. The timing is not entirely surprising; the responsible authorities are expected to submit an application in the first quarter of this year. The vaccine is – like others before, including those from BioNTech and Pfizer – at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in a “rolling review” process.
In a statement on Wednesday, the authority did not give any more specific dates for a possible application for approval. It will be communicated as soon as such a request is received, it is said. So far, the COVID-19 vaccines from BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna have been approved in the EU. Another vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxfors, could get approval in January.
The EU has ordered 200 million doses of vaccine from Johnson & Johnson and has secured an option for 200 million more doses. In contrast to the other vaccines, one dose is sufficient for this one to establish immunity against the pandemic pathogen. In addition, the vaccine is logistically easier to handle than the previously approved vaccines.