Canada has become the first nation worldwide to give full approval to Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine.
The New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company on Wednesday revealed Health Canada has given the shot the full green light, according to Reuters. It was previously authorized back in March under an interim order issued by the agency.
“Today marks the first major regulatory approval for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and an important moment to recognize the dedication of everyone involved in our COVID-19 vaccine development, our partners, the regulators and clinical study participants,” Johnson & Johnson’s vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer Paul Stoffels, M.D., said in a statement.
The move comes after initial data collected during a clinical study revealed the jab was 85% effective in preventing severe disease, and, beginning 28 days after inoculation, it provides protection against hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.
Health officials in Canada have also authorized the AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines for all adults 18 years and older.
“As vaccination rates continue to climb, a vaccine that prevents severe disease and protects against COVID-related hospitalization and death will help ease the strain on healthcare systems and is an important option for people in Canada and around the world,” Stoffels added.
According to the country’s COVID-19 database, 75% of the country’s total population is fully vaccinated. Since the global health pandemic first emerged in China in late 2019, Canada has reported 1,772,319 cases in total and 29,555 COVID-related deaths.