EMA likely to approve another Covid vaccine for use on March 11


The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said it is hopeful of giving another Covid-19 vaccine the all-clear for use in Europe on March 11.


The EMA posted a statement saying that a decision on the the Johnson & Johnson jab will be made in nine days time.


Earlier this week, the vaccine was approved for use in the US and rolled out.


In a short statement, the EMA said of the meeting planned:


''This extraordinary meeting is organised in the context of the evaluation of COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen developed by Janssen-Cilag International N.V.


''The aim of the meeting is to conclude the evaluation, if possible.


''The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) is the committee that is responsible for preparing the Agency's opinions on all questions concerning human medicines.''


If approved, it would mean Ireland would get a fourth vaccine option for use.


Already, the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines have been approved - with 10% of the country having received a dose so far.


The Johnson and Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose to be effective.


Crucially, it can be kept in a standard fridge, meaning it can be rolled out a lot more easily.


Last October, the European Union reached a deal with Johnson & Johnson to obtain 200 million doses of the vaccine for distribution among member states.


Ireland has a pre-purchase agreement for just over two million doses.