Janssen COVID-19 vaccine gets Medsafe’s provisional authorisation

Summary

  • Chris Hipkins announced that Medsafe had given provisional authorisation to use the Janssen vaccine for the people aged 18 years and above.
  • NZ had secured 2 million doses of the Janssen vaccine through an advance purchase agreement in 2020.
  • The Janssen vaccine could prove to be useful in emergencies or hard-to-reach locations.

NZ’s COVID-19 Response Minster Chris Hipkins announced Wednesday that Medsafe, NZ’s health regulator, has given provisional authorisation for the COVID-19 vaccine created by Janssen for the individuals aged 18 years and above.

The government had planned to purchase at least 2 million doses of the Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson in Q3 2021 if the vaccine was found to be safe.

Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media

Hipkins stated that New Zealand had signed an advance purchase agreement in 2020 for 2 million doses of the Janssen vaccine. He noted that the government had bought a vaccination portfolio to provide the country more alternatives, and it was the second COVID-19 vaccine to get authorisation for use by the government regulator.

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Medsafe employs a thorough evaluation procedure based on the most recent medical and scientific facts. The decision to approve has been carefully studied.

He added that the provisional consent of the vaccine use was the first step in the process and no decision had been made on whether to use the vaccine or when to use it.

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Janssen can prove to be useful in hard-to-reach locations or emergencies. Mr Hipkins stated that If the country was dealing with a large-scale epidemic, or one that was growing in size, and it needed to really ramp up immunisation in a certain region, having a back-up alternative is a good thing to have.

Government’s vaccine roll-out plan

As of 6 July, about 500K Kiwis have got both jabs and have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A total of 1.27 million doses have been administered.

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New Zealand plans to vaccinate the country in 4 groups based on the risk faced from COVID-19. Border, managed isolation, and quarantine (MIQ) workers come in Group 1 followed by high-risk frontline workers in Group 2 and people aged 65 years and above or any health factor in Group 3. Group 4 will comprise everyone over 16 years of age.

Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media

Hipkins also acknowledged the statement made last week on increasing the vaccinator staff. He stated that Ministry of Health (MOH) would be seeking expressions of interest from big workforces interested in providing on-site vaccines for their employees by this week’s end. He announced that laws on medications had been altered so that more health professionals might be trained to provide vaccines.

Cabinet will make a decision on how to utilise the Janssen vaccines in August and Hipkins anticipated that the earliest the vaccine could arrive in the nation was in late August.

The government also planned to get 3 million doses of Janssen vaccine more for delivery in 2022, as per an agreement released by the government in November 2020.

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