Things are finally looking up for the Dutch vaccination strategy. This is partly because the Netherlands is one step closer to receiving 11.3 million doses of the Janssen vaccine. The vaccine requires only one dose in order to immunise recipients against coronavirus.
The Janssen vaccine has already been approved for use in the US with 20 million citizens expected to receive the shot. Soon, the European Medicine Agency (EMA) will make a decision about whether or not the vaccine is approved for EU citizens.
This EMA is expected to give their decision on March 11 and the Netherlands has already bought 11.3 million doses for when the green light is given. All going well, it is expected that the doses of the Janssen vaccine will be given within the second quarter of 2021.
What is the Janssen vaccine?
The Janssen vaccine was partly developed and produced in Leiden. The Janssen pharmaceutical company made use of their previous research into an Ebola vaccine in order to produce a successful coronavirus vaccine.
There are two reasons why the Janssen vaccine is at an advantage to other coronavirus vaccines. Firstly, it requires only one dose in order to prevent against a serious case of coronavirus.
Secondly, the Janssen vaccine is much easier to store compared to other vaccines. For example, unlike the Pfizer vaccine — which needs to be stored at -80 degrees celsius — the Janssen vaccine only needs to be stored between 2 and 8 degrees.
How effective is the Janssen vaccine?
The vaccine has proven to be 66% effective on average. However, in the US the effectiveness stands at 72%.
Most importantly, the vaccine has proven so far to be 85% effective against a serious case of coronavirus and 100% effective against death by coronavirus.
First doses in April
Whilst the EMA will deliver their decision regarding the vaccine on March 11, the first doses in the Netherlands would not be expected until April. This is because contracts must be drawn up between the EU states and the pharmaceutical company regarding delivery.
The vaccine would then be delivered to the Netherlands in April. However, whether this will happen within the first week is uncertain, a spokeswoman for Janssen tells RTL Nieuws.
US delivery of vaccine does not affect delivery to NL
While the US may have received approval and delivery before the Netherlands, this will not impact the delivery of vaccines to the Netherlands, Janssen has said. The spokeswoman explained that the speed of the delivery to the US has to do with the delivery contracts that were written up.
“With the US on the one hand and the European Commission on the other. Agreements have been made in the contracts about the deliveries” she says.
Regardless, of the number of vaccines going to the US, following EMA approval, the Netherlands is expected to receive its doses once the relevant delivery contracts have been written up in April.
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Feature Image: Abuzer Van Leeuwen/Supplied.