Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine has been approved for emergency use in the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration said, making it the fifth jab to be cleared for speedy deployment.
The J&J vaccine called Janssen has an overall efficacy of 66.3% and is touted as a game-changer because it doesn't require two doses, unlike most jabs.
"The known and potential benefits of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, when used to diagnose, prevent, treat COVID-19, outweigh the known and potential risk of said vaccine as of date," the FDA said in its certification. FDA Director General Eric Domingo confirmed the document to reportr.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the Philippines was expecting six million doses from the U.S. drugmaker that could be delivered by third quarter of the year.
Granting an EUA to a vaccine would expedite its availability as the world rushes to put an end to the pandemic by achieving herd immunity through protection provided by vaccines. With a recent surge in infections that has overwhelmed hospitals in the capital region, authorities are racing to vaccinate as many Filipinos, especially the most vulnerable.