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UPDATE 2-J&J applies to WHO for emergency use listing of COVID-19 vaccine

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(Adds background)

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson said on Fridayit had submitted data to the World Health Organization (WHO) foremergency use listing of its COVID-19 vaccine, which would allowfor wider access of the one-dose shot.

J&J said an emergency use listing is a prerequisite forsupplying vaccines to the COVAX vaccine program, co-led by WHO,which aims to deliver doses to poor and middle-income countries.

The J&J vaccine is administered in a single dose and can bestored at normal fridge temperatures, a big selling point incountries with relatively weaker healthcare infrastructure.

The vaccine is under review by the U.S. health regulator,and a panel of the Food and Drug Administration's experts areexpected to discuss the vaccine's emergency use authorizationnext week.

The vaccine is being rolled out in South Africa, for thefirst time outside a major clinical trial.

J&J said last month the vaccine was 66% effective inpreventing COVID-19 in a large late-stage global trial againstmultiple variants of the coronavirus. The level of protection ofthe vaccine varied from 72% in the United States, to 66% inLatin America and 57% in South Africa.

The company said the data delivered to WHO includes resultsfrom the late-stage trial.

J&J entered into an agreement in December in support of theCOVAX program.

The company and Gavi, which also co-leads COVAX, expect toenter into an advance purchase agreement that would provide upto 500 million doses of the single-dose vaccine to COVAX through2022, J&J said.(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by AnilD'Silva and Shounak Dasgupta)