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Janssen COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in EU on March 11

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March 11, 2021

The Janssen-Cilag International N.V COVID-19 vaccine has received authorization for emergency use by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on March 11. Developed with fundamental support from the Molecular Virology group of the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), it is the fourth vaccine to be administered in the European Union. The Netherlands has ordered more than 11 million vaccine doses.

Janssen first approached the LUMC Molecular Virology group in February of 2020. “A collaboration to support the development of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was proposed because they knew we had been studying coronaviruses for over 30 years”, says Professor Eric Snijder of the LUMC department of Medical Microbiology. Together, Snijder and Dr Marjolein Kikkert were responsible for leading the project. Snijder emphasizes that they were able to rapidly assist with the first phase of vaccine development and testing due to LUMC’s well-established research infrastructure: “not only did we have the experience, but we also had trained staff available and a state-of-the-art Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory”. 

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