South Korea’s expert panel says J&J COVID-19 vaccine safe, effective for approval

March 29, 2021 - 12:52 PM
Johnson & Johnson vaccine
A vial and sryinge are seen in front of a displayed Johnson&Johnson logo in this illustration taken Jan. 11, 2021. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic, illustration)

SEOUL — A panel of South Korean advisers recommended a coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson was safe and effective, the food and drug safety ministry said on Monday, moving the single-dose shot a step closer to receiving regulatory approval.

When granted a greenlight, the J&J vaccine will be the third COVID-19 vaccine authorized in South Korea, following ones from AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech, both of which require two doses.

South Korea has an agreement to get 6 million doses of the J&J vaccine and has said it will be ready for inoculation from the second quarter.

The final authorization of the vaccine will be decided after two more expert committees hold meetings.

The country has so far administered 793,966 first doses of vaccines among medical workers and high-risk groups since the beginning of its vaccination campaign in February. —Reporting by Sangmi Cha; Editing by Kim Coghill