Production problems with Janssen vaccine could cause delays
Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson is struggling with production problems that may result in it being unable to deliver all ordered doses of its coronavirus vaccine, developed by Leiden subsidiary Janssen, according to the promised schedule, an EU official told Reuters.
The European Union ordered 200 million doses of this vaccine for this year. 55 million doses were to be delivered in the second quarter. The Netherlands expected to get 3 million Janssen vaccines in the second quarter.
Johnson & Johnson informed the EU last week that it was facing problems with its vaccine equipment and components, the EU official said to Reuters. These problems are "putting pressure" on the plan to deliver tens of millions of doses by the end of June, the source said.
A spokesperson for Janssen told broadcaster NOS that the company can not respond to these reports at this time.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Health told the broadcaster that Janssen has always indicated that deliveries can take place from April. "Nothing has changed. The planned delivery of 55 million doses for the second quarter is still Janssen's aim."
The European Medicines Agency is expected to approve the Janssen vaccine this week. Unlike the other vaccines currently in use in the EU, the Janssen vaccine only requires one shot. So the Netherlands expects to vaccinate around 3 million residents in the second quarter using Janssen vaccines.
A delay could mean trouble for the government's hope to give everyone who wants to be vaccinated at least their first shot by early July.
Data released by public health institute RIVM on Tuesday showed that 8.4 percent of Netherlands adults have been partially vaccinated against Covid-19.