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Colombia grants emergency use for J&J coronavirus vaccine

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BOGOTA, March 25 (Reuters) - Colombia has approved emergency use of Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, the director of food and drug regulator INVIMA said as part of a government address on Thursday.

The approved vaccine is developed by Janssen, the pharmaceutical wing of Johnson & Johnson.

"In its capacity as regulator, INVIMA has authorized the emergency use of the vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Janssen, of the multinational Johnson & Johnson," INVIMA director Julio Cesar Aldana said during the government's nightly broadcast.

In addition to being a one-dose vaccine, the J&J vaccine has less demanding storage needs than some other approved vaccines, Aldana said.

Colombia has also closed agreements for vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, AstraZeneca , Moderna, and Sinovac. It is also set to receive doses via the World Health Organization-backed COVAX mechanism.

Colombia has also so-far approved use of the vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Sinovac.

The government has reached an agreement to buy 9 million doses of J&J's one-shot vaccine.

Colombia hopes to vaccinate around 70% of its population in a bid to achieve herd immunity.

The country has recorded over 2.35 million cases of coronavirus and more than 62,500 deaths. It has administered more than 1.38 million vaccine doses. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta Writing by Oliver Griffin Editing by Leslie Adler)