The European Medicines Agency said Thursday that Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective to use in everyone over the age of 18.
That paves the way for the European Commission to grant the American vaccine a conditional marketing authorization later Thursday. It will be the fourth vaccine approved in the EU after BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca.
“With this latest positive opinion, authorities across the European Union will have another option to combat the pandemic and protect the lives and health of their citizens,” said EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke in a press release.
The Commission has already secured 200 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with the option to purchase 200 million more. However, the company won’t deliver doses to EU countries until the second quarter of the year — possibly not until mid-to-late April.
Once delivered, the jab could be much easier to use than the three other approved vaccines because only one dose is required and it can be stored in a normal refrigerator for three months.
The vaccine proved to be 67 percent effective in preventing cases of COVID-19, according to the EMA.
The vaccine was approved in the U.S. at the end of February and the company has submitted for approval in the U.K.
The EMA has rolling reviews of three other vaccines ongoing: CureVac, Novavax and Sputnik V.