J&J submits one-shot COVID vaccine for World Health Organization emergency use approval

Carla Harmon
February 19, 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce on Friday that the United Kingdom will donate surplus coronavirus vaccines to developing countries to boost the global battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Johnson wants to use the country's presidency to initiate closer cooperation on the distribution of coronavirus vaccines.

The situation is similar in other rich countries.

USA officials, speaking to journalists on condition of anonymity ahead of the call, said that President Joe Biden would announce a total of $4 billion in funding for COVAX but that the country did not plan to share any of its doses with other nations until its domestic vaccination needs were met.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in an interview Thursday with the Financial Times, called on the US and European nations to allocate up to 5% of current vaccine supplies to developing countries - the kind of vaccine diplomacy that China and Russian Federation have begun deploying.

Biden administration officials said their focus was also on vaccinating Americans and sought to separate the domestic and global efforts.

Johnson & Johnson said on Friday that it had submitted data to the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use listing of its COVID-19 vaccine, which would allow for wider access to the one-dose shot.

J&J said last month that the vaccine was 66 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in a large late-stage global trial against multiple variants of the coronavirus.

The Group of Seven industrialized nations are the United States, Germany, Japan, Britain, France, Canada and Italy. That's on top of the $766 million the country has already donated to the program, which is aimed at supplying some of the world's poorest nations with inoculations.

India has also recently begun donating and selling doses of vaccines produced domestically to poor countries that don't have access to other shots.

The head of the Gavi vaccine alliance, which co-leads the programme, has also said COVAX needs greater political support, as wealthier nations strike fresh deals with developers to secure limited supplies. So far, World Health Organization has yet to give emergency use authorization to the Russian and Chinese-made vaccines, which have lingering questions about their efficacy rates.A decision on the vaccines produced by China's Sinovac and Sinopharm is expected next month, at the earliest. The first COVAX doses are expected to begin arriving in dozens of countries next week.

The Biden administration will pledge $4 billion to a coronavirus vaccination program for poorer countries in hopes of prying loose bigger donations from other governments, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

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