9.35 million Covid vaccine doses to reach Netherlands by end-June despite Janssen delay
The Netherlands can expect to take delivery of a minimum of 9.35 million vaccine doses by the beginning of July, and possibly more once manufacturers AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson confirm their delivery schedule. That total is now several millions higher than previously estimated, based on more concrete delivery dates from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, wrote Health Minister Hugo de Jonge in an update to the Tweede Kamer.
De Jonge’s goal is for all 14.5 million adults in the Netherlands to have access to at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by early July. Nearly 6.6 million vaccine doses have been administered since January 6, with over five million people at least partially vaccinated and over 1.5 million having received a second injection.
The 9.35 million units expected over the next eight weeks does not include delivery figures from AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson for the month of June. The total does include the May deliveries of a half-million doses of the Janssen Vaccine, a one-shot product developed in Leiden by a Johnson and Johnson subsidiary, revised down from 750 thousand.
"Production issues at the Johnson & Johnson plant in the United States may impact expected deliveries,” De Jonge wrote. This will impact May vaccination progress, but De Jonge still said he thinks three million doses of the vaccine will be delivered by the end of June.
For the second time in a day, De Jonge spoke out in frustration against AstraZeneca. “AstraZeneca’s deliveries also remain unpredictable. One week they are very high, the other week there are no deliveries. Those lagging and unpredictable deliveries by AstraZeneca are also the reason that the EU has started a lawsuit against AstraZeneca.”
De Jonge predicted that no new vaccines will be granted market approval in time for new players to make deliveries by the end of the second quarter. Talks with Curevac and GSK/Sanofi are productive and ongoing, and an advance purchase deal may be closed with Novavax.
“Market authorization for the Sputnik vaccine is not currently expected in the short term,” he said.
Additionally, tens of millions of Covid vaccine doses are being purchased through 2023. He said, “Circulation of the coronavirus in 2022 and 2023 is plausible, and it is still unclear how long the current vaccines will continue to offer protection, and whether they will also continue to offer protection against new variants.”
Noting that “it is unclear whether the entire population will have to be re-vaccinated for this purpose and whether one injection will then be a sufficient booster,” De Jonge said the purchase is also needed to potentially inoculate people under the age of 12.
“If we have to administer two doses per person per year, this means a need for 61 million vaccines for the entire 2022-2023 period (or proportionally less if one-shot vaccines such as that of Janssen are used.”