India will manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s single dose coronavirus vaccine as part of the initiative of the Quad group of countries, The Times of India reported on Friday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, United States President Joe Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s Yoshihide Suga will participate in the first-ever meeting of the Quadrilateral Framework later in the day.
Results from a trial of about 44,000 participants had shown that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66% effective in preventing moderate-to-severe coronavirus cases. Data from an independent safety monitoring board also suggested that a single-dose of the American drugmaker’s vaccine was generally well-tolerated.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine project will be financed by Japan and the US, according to The Times of India. Meanwhile, Japan will ship the supplies to Southeast Asia and Pacific countries.
This initiative will “re-inforce India’s credentials as a trusted, reliable manufacturer and supplier” of vaccines, an unidentified source told the newspaper. India produces 60% of the world’s vaccines and supporting the rollouts was expected to be at top of the agenda of the four Quad leaders.
An unidentified senior US official also told Reuters that the countries plan to announce agreements to augment the manufacturing of coronavirus vaccines in India. The official added that the aim of the group will be to “reduce manufacturing backlogs, speed vaccination, and defeat some coronavirus mutations”.
“The idea is that the quicker you can vaccinate, the more that you can defeat some of these mutations. So this is a capacity that will come online later this year, and it will substantially increase our capacity, collectively,” the official told Reuters.