The United Kingdom has authorized the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination in COVID-19 patients. increase

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On Friday (May 28), British government officials approved the use of another coronavirus vaccination in the UK, citing fears over an increase in COVID-19 cases as a version of the virus initially found in India spreads throughout the country.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency stated that Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccination fulfilled “the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”

Following prior approvals for the two-dose regimens produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, and Moderna, the number of vaccines in the UK’s arsenal now stands at four.

The regulator said the vaccine developed by J&J subsidiary Janssen has been shown to be 67 per cent effective overall in preventing COVID-19 infection and 85 per cent effective in preventing severe disease or hospitalisation.

It can be be stored at refrigerator temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, which the regulator said makes it “ideal for distribution to care homes and other locations”.

Details of which groups will get the vaccine have yet to be determined. There was speculation it might only be administered to older adults after it was linked to reports of rare blood clots.

Given the UK’s rapid rollout of vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson’s product may be used as part of the country’s planned booster programme in the fall. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which decides how vaccines are rolled out across the UK, will submit updated advice before the shots become available.

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The British government has amended its order from last year of 30 million J&J doses to 20 million.

“As Janssen is a single-dose vaccine, it will play an important role in the months to come as we redouble our efforts to encourage everyone to get their jabs and potentially begin a booster programme later this year,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

Nearly 58 per cent of the population has received at least one dose and around 35 per cent has gotten two shots. The UK is aiming to have offered a jab to all adults by the end of July.

The UK has seen a modest uptick in new cases in recent days as a result of the variant first identified in India, which is considered to be more transmissible than the previously dominant strain of the virus.

On Thursday, the country reported 3,542 new confirmed cases, its highest daily total since April 12. The number of cases remains well below the close to 70,000 recorded in mid-January, during the peak of the second wave.

Data released on Friday by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies put the virus’ reproduction number between 1.0 and 1.1, up from the previous week’s 0.9 to 1.1. The new range means that every 10 infected people are likely to infect 10 or 11 others, meaning the outbreak is growing.

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Concerns are mounting that the next scheduled easing of lockdown restrictions in England on Jun 21 will have to be delayed if case numbers continue to rise.

The British government has said that it will make a decision on whether to lift all remaining social restrictions on Jun 14.

The government has been lifting restrictions in stages. Indoor eating, drinking and entertainment venues reopening last week, but social distancing and mask-wearing rules still in place.

While the most vulnerable people should have vaccine protection, there are worries the virus could spread widely among younger adults and that many will end up needing to go to the hospital.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that the decision to take the next step in his government’s roadmap out of lockdown would depend on how much the new variant drove an increase in cases and the speed of the vaccination campaign.

“I don’t see anything currently in the data to suggest that we have to deviate from the roadmap,” he said. “But we may need to wait.”

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