Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine has received emergency-use authorisation in India, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Saturday.

“Now India has 5 EUA [approved for emergency use] vaccines,” the minister added. “This will further boost our nation’s collective fight against Covid-19.”

The government’s announcement came just two days after Johnson & Johnson applied for approval of its vaccine in India. The company will collaborate with Hyderabad-based Biological E Limited to launch the vaccine in India and other countries across the world.

In phase three clinical trials, the single-shot vaccine showed 85% efficacy in preventing severe disease, Johnson & Johnson said. The company added that its shot also offered protection against hospitalisation and death, starting 28 days after inoculation.

The single-dose vaccine has already been approved for use in several countries, including the United States, European Union members, Thailand and South Africa.

Apart from the dosage regimen, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine also differs from other shots in the way it creates resistance against the virus. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines use new messenger RNA [Ribonucleic acid] technology to create an immune response, while this vaccine involves a more conventional approach, using a common cold virus to introduce coronavirus proteins into cells to trigger an immune response.

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