Johnson & Johnson to supply COVID-19 vaccines to AU member states
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is in a deal to supply up to 220 million doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine to the African Union’s (AU) 55 member states from the third quarter of 2021, the drugmaker said on Monday.
According to a report by Reuters, J&J, through its unit Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, entered into a deal with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), which could order an additional 180 million doses, for a combined total of up to 400 million doses through 2022.
“We need to immunize at least 60 percent of our population in order to get rid of the virus from our continent. The J&J agreement enables us to move towards achieving this target,” said John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Earlier this month, Europe approved J&J single dose COVID-19 vaccine. The United States, Canada and Bahrain have also approved the shot.
Late last year, J&J said it and the GAVI vaccine alliance expected to enter into a deal that would provide up to 500 million doses of the company’s vaccine to COVAX, the programme backed by the World Health Organization, through 2022.
Johnson & Johnson has established a global manufacturing and supply network for its COVID-19 vaccine, collaborating with nine partners across four continents, including Aspen Pharmacare in South Africa.
On February 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for J&J single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older.
This decision was based on the totality of scientific evidence, including data from the Phase 3 study that demonstrated the vaccine was 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease across all regions studied, and showed protection against COVID-19 related hospitalization and death, beginning 28 days after vaccination.