Italy expects Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccine to arrive in mid-April

Italy gives green light to covid-19 vaccinations in pharmacies.

Johnson & Johnson has said it will begin delivery of its coronavirus vaccine in Europe on 19 April, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The 27-nation European Union (EU) has ordered 200 million doses of the single-shot vaccine from the pharmaceutical giant, with an option for 200 million more.

News of the vaccine's arrival in Europe comes as Italian officials said that Italy expected to receive the J&J vaccine in mid-April, according to news agency ANSA.

According to the EU agreements, Italy is entitled to 7.3 million doses of the vaccine in the second quarter of this year and 15.9 doses in the third quarter, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

The J&J vaccine, set to become the fourth in use in Italy after Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, received approval from EU regulators in mid-March.

Italy's coronavirus emergency commissioner General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo confirmed on 29 March that three million doses of other covid vaccines would arrive in Italy "by the end of the month."

Figliuolo recently announced plans to accelerate Italy's vaccination campaign, which has been dogged by delays and shortfalls in vaccines, with the target of administering half a million doses per day by May.

There was more news on the covid-19 vaccine front in Italy yesterday with Italian health minister Roberto Speranza signing a new protocol allowing pharmacists to administer covid-19 vaccines in pharmacies, in what he termed an "important step forward" in making the vaccination programme "faster and more widespread."

For official information relating to the covid-19 situation in Italy see the health ministry website.