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French ‘HAS’ regulator: J&J COVID vaccine could be approved in France by end of this week

FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and syringe are seen in front of displayed J&J logo in this illustration

PARIS (Reuters) – The president of France’s Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) health regulator said on Monday that France could approve Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this week, in line with the timetable for its broader European Union approval.

Dominique Le Guludec, president of the French HAS regulatory body, told LCI TV that France could approve the J&J COVID-19 vaccine by Friday or Saturday this week, once it got approval from the European Union’s EMA drugs regulator.

Europe’s drugs regulator said last month that it could issue an opinion by mid-March on whether to approve drugmaker Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine under a speedy review.

The U.S. government authorized Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the end of February, enabling millions more Americans to be vaccinated in the coming weeks and setting the vaccine up for additional approvals around the world.

Thousands of people across France flocked to vaccination centres on Sunday as the government stepped up inoculations against the coronavirus to ease the load on hospitals and stave off further restrictions.

(Reporting by Bertrand Boucey; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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