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Spain expects first batch of single-dose Janssen shot within 48 hours

04/12/2021 | 08:00am EDT

Madrid, Apr 12 (EFE).- The first batch of the single-dose Covid-19 vaccine from Janssen is due to arrive in Spain within 48 hours, the health minister said Monday.

Some 300,000 doses are expected in the initial delivery of 5.5 million dosages expected in Q2.

The vaccine from Janssen, the European affiliate of American pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, is the latest to be approved for use in the European Union.

It differs from the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines in that it does not require two shots. It can be stored at fridge temperature - like AstraZeneca - which makes its distribution easier than the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna shots.

The Janssen shot is 85% effective at preventing serious cases of Covid-19, clinical trials show.

Health minister Carolina Darias said the Janssen doses would be used to accelerate the rollout among the 70-79 age group.

Spanish authorities aim to vaccinate 70% of the adult population by the end of the summer if delivery contracts are honored.

Like elsewhere in the EU, Spain's rollout was hit by delivery shortfalls from AstraZeneca earlier in the year.

Authorities have since suspended the use of AstraZeneca in people under 60 as a precaution after the European Medicines Agency last week confirmed that rare blood clots could be a possible side effect of the jab.

Darias told the press during a visit to the Canary Islands that authorities were studying "all options" as to whether people under 30 who have already had a dose of AstraZeneca should be administered the second.

Spain is set to receive 4.8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine this month at a rate of 1.2 million a week.

"Vaccines are safe, effective and save lives," Darias said. "We are confirming that with facts that are plain to see: for example, in care homes, the mortality rate is down to practically the same as for those not in care homes."

According to Spain's health ministry, over 3.07 million people, or 6.5% of the population, have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. EFE

© 2021 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc., source EFE Ingles

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