Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was approved by the High Authority for Health in France this Friday evening. Here’s what you need to know about this new vaccine:
After those from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, a fourth vaccine will soon arrive in France. It is that of the American laboratory Johnson & Johnson and its Belgian daughter Janssen. The High Health Authority approved this new vaccine this Friday evening. It had received approval from the European Medicines Agency this week.
More than 85% effective against severe forms
The rate of effectiveness of this vaccine depends on the form of the disease. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it would fluctuate between 80 and 90% against severe forms of Covid-19, but drop to 66% when all symptomatic forms are taken into account. Lower rates than Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which should be put into perspective. The clinical studies of the latter two were conducted when the variants, particularly the South African variant, were not yet widely available. The effect of the Johnson & Johnson serum against the variants is relative: a clinical study at the end of January showed that it was 57% effective against the South African.
Also read: Covid-19: “I’m not afraid”, 130 volunteers test the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Toulouse
A single dose should be enough
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only takes one dose, although more work is being done to determine its effectiveness with a second. This second dose would extend the duration of vaccination protection. Some scientists have expressed reservations about the effects of this additional dose because of the technique used for this vaccine: the immune system may recognize the weakly virulent “vehicle” virus that has been injected a second time and clear it before it is injected into action.
Storage between 2 and 8 ° C.
Another big advantage: it’s easy to store. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which must be stored at -70 ° C and -20 ° C, respectively, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be stored between 2 and 8 ° C. It should therefore be more accessible because it can be given to your doctor.
77 million cans destined for France
The industry minister said that of the 600 million vaccine doses expected in Europe by the end of June, “77 million will be destined for France”. All of this of course depends on the lead times. However, the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi has announced that it will make its resources available to its competitor for the manufacture of cans. This would potentially avoid delays in delivery.
The most common side effects seen in clinical trials were injection site pain, headache, fatigue, and muscle pain. At least one case of anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction – has been observed in South Africa, according to the company. Although such reactions are very rare, they have also been caused by injections of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.