The single-shot Coronavirus vaccine of Johnson & Johnson is expected to be imported to India for ‘fill & finish’ by June -July 2021. The news was shared by Renu Swarup, Secretary, Biotechnology Department, Science and Technology Ministry.
She informed on April 22, 2021, that the vaccines of Johnson & Johnson are expected to be imported by June-July and that the company is working closely with Biological E for facilitating the ongoing tech transfer to India.
J&J, in order to expand the manufacturing capacity in India, has signed a tech-transfer agreement with the Biological E Limited, for the manufacturing of their investigational single dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This will add to the manufacturing capacity of India.
Biological E is also working on its own candidate which has completed the trial and the estimated manufacturing capacity of Biological E, for this vaccine candidate, is around 600 billion doses per annum.
Efficacy of Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus vaccine:
• As per the data published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the COVID-19 vaccine of Johnson & Johnson has protected against asymptomatic and symptomatic infection. It prevented death and hospitalization in all the participants 28 days after the vaccination.
• COVID-19 vaccine was 67% effective on average against the moderate to severe-critical Coronavirus at least 14 days after the administration, and 66% effective at 28 days after the vaccination.
• The vaccine by Johnson & Johnson was close to 77% effective against the critical/severe Coronavirus at 14 days after the administration and 85% after the 28 days.
India plans for the indigenous production of Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine:
The Secretary of the Biotechnology Department while talking about the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine of Russia that has also recently received the Emergency Use Authorization in India, informed that besides the initial import, India is also looking forward to producing Sputnik V indigenously.
Renu Swarup added that discussions with Dr. Reddy’s have been going on and apart from Dr. Reddy’s, five other manufacturing partners in India have also been identified to produce Sputnik V. They can collectively produce around 700 million doses per annum.
Tech transfer from the Russian Direct Investment Fund is also in the process and according to the Indian Ambassador to Russia, the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine will be delivered to India in April 2021.
COVID-19 vaccines in India:
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine had become the third COVID-19 vaccine to get clearance in India. The other two were the Bharat Biotech’s indigenously manufactured Covaxin and SII’s locally manufactured Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield. India has become the 60thcountry for authorizing the use of Sputnik V Vaccine against Coronavirus.