EU regulator recommends authorization for Johnson & Johnson vaccine

A vial of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Belgium.

(CNN)The European Union's (EU) medicines regulator has recommended authorizing Johnson & Johnson's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine.

The decision from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Thursday comes amid vaccine supply shortages across the 27-member state bloc.
"After a thorough evaluation, EMA's human medicines committee concluded by consensus that the data on the vaccine were robust and met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality," the EMA said in a statement.
    The vaccine will be the fourth to be authorized for use in the EU following the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna shots, which have all also been authorized.
      Brussels has opted for a centralized approach to vaccine procurement but its plan has been hindered by supply and distribution problems.
          "With this latest positive opinion, authorities across the European Union will have another option to combat the pandemic and protect the lives and health of their citizens," said Emer Cooke, the EMA's executive director, adding, "this is the first vaccine which can be used as a single dose."
          The announcement comes a day after US President Joe Biden announced that he is directing the US Department of Health and Human Services to purchase an extra 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.