A new single dose Covid-19 vaccine will mainly be targeted at young millennials in the UK who may not want to wait three months for a second dose.
Ministers are hoping that the Janssen vaccine, which is made by Johnson & Johnson, will be issued to young adults allowing them to “jab and go”, according to the Telegraph.
The UK has already secured a deal for 30 million doses of the vaccine, which is expected to be available by July.
“Jab and go”
Currently, only the Pfizer and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines are being rolled out in the UK, both of which require two doses.
The Moderna vaccine is also due to arrive in the UK in April following approval, becoming the country’s third coronavirus jab, but again, this requires two doses.
These jabs are administered 12 weeks apart and only offer the strongest protection after both doses have been given.
However, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose to protect against Covid-19 .
As such, it is hoped that the jab will be more attractive to young people who are keen to enjoy the summer by the time the vaccine rollout reaches their age group.
A source told the Telegraph: “Where it will be useful is it could work really well for the younger cohort - the 18 to 29 year olds.
“One hit and you are done - and you are off to Ibiza.”
The vaccine was approved in the US in February and later by the EU in March, but is still pending approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK.
However, 30 million doses of the jab have already been ordered, with the option of millions more.
All adults are expected to be offered a Covid-19 vaccine by July, meaning young adults could receive the jab in the summer, once it has been approved.
How effective is the vaccine?
The vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is the first to be listed by the WHO as a single dose jab and results from large clinical trials have shown that the vaccine is effective in older populations.
The vaccine’s effectiveness varied in different countries, with 72 per cent efficacy in the United States, 66 per cent in Latin America, and 57 per cent in South Africa.
However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that the vaccine was 85 per cent effective overall in stopping severe cases of Covid-19.
Johnson & Johnson also said it worked across multiple variants of coronavirus, including some effectiveness against the South African variant.
It added that most side effects from the vaccine were usually mild or moderate and stopped within a couple of days. The most common symptoms included pain at the injection site, tiredness, muscle pain, headache and nausea.
The WHO is continuing to work with countries and COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) partners around the world to prepare for rollout and safe monitoring, and the COVAX Facility has booked 500 millions doses of the vaccine.