India approves J&J as a 5th vaccine for emergency use and is considered a much needed addition to the vaccine options

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India is about to face third wave of Covid and before such a situation, Johnson & Johnson vaccine has got approval by Drugs controller General of India (DCGI). As per the information, one of the senior officers confirmed it that the day America’s pharmaceutical company submitted application regarding emergency use of their vaccine in the country, DCGI approved it without showing any delay, keeping in mind the present and future circumstances.

Johnson & Johnson is the fifth Covid vaccine that has got approval in India after Covishield vaccines, Covaxin vaccine, Moderna vaccine, Sputnik V vaccine. Dr. Ashutosh Yadav told Eat News, ‘It’s good news that America’s Pharmaceutical company decided to applied for the use here as we need to vaccinate each and every person to avoid the level of danger new wave of Covid will bring with it.’ He also believes that the more new and different vaccines we will welcome, the doses will help in covering wide population plus people with individual preference can take benefits through it.

Johnson & Johnson comes with a single dose which is attracting several people in India as Covishield and Covaxin has to be taken in two doses to complete the course and the mid gap is annoying them. Shruti is a college student. She said, ‘I took my first dose of Covishield in May and now waiting for the second dose which is scheduled for August. Booking slots for vaccine is very exhausting because at first go nobody is getting the appointments. We have to keep on checking thrice or more than that for a week.’ Shruti further said, ‘I was waiting for the vaccine with one dose but since I had no option in May, I went for Covishield.’   

All the state administrations are carrying vaccination drives and trying to vaccinate each and every person. But meanwhile lot of disturbances are also been witnessed in Delhi, ‘It wasn’t easy for me to get the appointment for the first dose. I was waiting for 20 days while checking each day, but then when I got it and I reached the center, I was told the vaccines stock is finished. When I argued about the facility and mistakes they are doing and we are paying for it, they opened the vaccine stocks that were already available at the center.’

People under 18+ category are struggling to find slots for the vaccines as many vaccine centers are still allowing 45+ only, even after administration stated to start vaccines for adults (18+) too. According to Dr. Ashutosh Johnson & Johnson vaccine is similar to Covishield because both are considered as viral vector vaccine. He said, ‘Basically viral vector vaccines are used as modified version of different virus to instruct our cells to work accordingly. And, Covishield and Johnson & Johnson shares this quality which is quite beneficial as it prepares body in such a way that the risk of being serious in a Covid 19 case decreases once the person is vaccinated.’ Johnson & Johnson is approved by World Health Organization and 59 countries are already using it in vaccination drive happening across the world.

Since each country is trying their best to contribute in developing vaccines to stand against deadly virus, getting permit and recognition from other countries is an issue now. Shruti explains the same, ‘My cousin is about to travel Europe for his higher studies but due to Covishield was not permitted before, it was huge headache for everybody. Visas were not granted and we were hoping for the best. But last month when few countries of Europe slowly and gradually started opening its borders for Indians and gave permission to Covishield, we were relieved’.

There are few people who are happy to have options for vaccines and are appreciating the decision. Mr. Manoj is an entrepreneur and travel frequently to different places for work. He told Eat News, ‘It is a good decision to give permission to international vaccine, as we Indians will have options and individual preference to what to opt for.’ He further added, ‘I am not saying that I don’t trust our domestic vaccines but having an option is always a good thing.’ According to the information, Johnson & Johnson has joined hands with Biological E in Hyderabad for the production in India. As per the study, Johnson & Johnson vaccines is 85% effective on preventing hospitalization of patients. Experts have done clinical trial on up to 40 thousand people and people infected after 4 weeks of it did not reach to the stage of hospitalization which was a positive result. Also, according to the information the vaccine is 71% effective against delta variant and 67% against beta variant.

Dr. Ashutosh quoted Eat News, ‘Each country is doing research and performing clinical trials to get their vaccines permitted wherever they can. We are looking varieties in the market now. And whichever vaccine is concluded to be more effective should be allowed in the country. As I mentioned before it will be helpful for people to have options. Before we were finding remedy and now, we are introducing several vaccines which is a progress sign not only for the medical fraternity but also for the nations and its people’.

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Shefali Ranawat is an Eat News correspondent in India. She want to be the voice of people. Also, she aim to be a war correspondent.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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