© Reuters. Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is administered in Bay Shore, NY

(Reuters) – The European Union’s drugs regulator on Thursday recommended conditionally approving Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:)’s single dose COVID-19 vaccine, as the bloc seeks to speed up a stuttering inoculation campaign and boost its supplies of vaccines.

The COVID-19 shot is the fourth to be endorsed for use in the EU after vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford University and Moderna (NASDAQ:), and is recommended for those over 18 years of age, the European Medicines agency (EMA) said.

The United States, Canada and Bahrain have also approved the shot. South Africa is carrying out an expedited review.

“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,” EMA’s Executive Director Emer Cooke said.

“This is the first vaccine that can be used as a single dose.”

EU conditional marketing authorisation allows a treatment to be sold for a year without full data on its efficacy and side-effects being available.

The region is having difficulty taming a spike cases driven by a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, with countries including Italy and France imposing fresh lockdowns.

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