Use Janssen Covid vaccine for medically vulnerable groups: Health Council
The Netherlands must first use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, developed by Leiden subsidiary Janssen, to vaccinate medically vulnerable groups, the Health Council said in advice to Health Minister Hugo de Jonge. The Council specifically referred to people over the age of 60 who have certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk from the coronavirus.
The medical conditions in question were the same as advised for the AstraZeneca vaccine - Down's syndrome, obesity, and neurological problems that can interfere with breathing. Once everyone in these vulnerable groups have been vaccinated, the vaccine can be used in other population groups, the Health Council said.
"The vaccine protects 66 percent against illness and 85 percent against serious illness," the Health Council said. "It is also sufficiently safe: only side effects that disappear within two days were found."
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency last week. The Netherlands ordered 11.3 million doses of this vaccine for this year. 3 million doses are expected in the coming months.
This is the fourth vaccine approved for use in the Netherlands. Unlike those from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, the Janssen vaccine only requires one shot, not two.