The European Commission has granted a conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) for the COVID‑19 vaccine developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, and the fourth COVID-19 vaccine authorised in the EU.
This authorisation follows a positive scientific recommendation based on a thorough assessment of the safety, effectiveness and quality of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and is endorsed by the Member States.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “The Janssen vaccine is the fourth authorised vaccine of the EU’s portfolio and will help us enhance the vaccination campaign in the second quarter of 2021. It only requires a single dose, which takes us another step closer to achieving our collective goal of vaccinating 70% of the adult population by the end of summer.”
EMA has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen to prevent COVID-19 in people from 18 years of age. The vaccine is based on an adenovirus, a harmless virus which delivers the ‘instructions’ from the virus that causes COVID-19. This allows the body’s own cells to make the protein unique to the COVID-19 virus. The person’s immune system recognises that this unique protein should not be in the body and responds by producing natural defences against infection by COVID-19. The adenovirus in the vaccine cannot reproduce and does not cause disease.
After a thorough evaluation, EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) concluded by consensus that the data on the vaccine were robust and met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality. COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen is the fourth vaccine recommended in the EU for preventing COVID-19.
We have just authorised the fourth vaccine against COVID-19 for use in the EU.
Following the recommendation of @EMA_News, we have granted a conditional marketing authorisation for the Janssen vaccine for all EU countries.
This vaccine requires a single dose.#SafeVaccines
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) March 11, 2021
How COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen works
COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen works by preparing the body to defend itself against COVID-19. It is made up of another virus (an adenovirus) that has been modified to contain the gene for making the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This is a protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus which it needs to enter the body’s cells.
The adenovirus passes the SARS-CoV-2 gene into the vaccinated person’s cells. The cells can then use the gene to produce the spike protein. The person’s immune system will recognise the spike protein as foreign and produce antibodies and activate T cells (white blood cells) to target it.
Later, if the person comes into contact with SARS-CoV-2 virus, the vaccinated person’s immune system will recognise the spike protein on the virus and be ready to defend the body against it. The adenovirus in the vaccine cannot reproduce and does not cause disease.