J&J unsure of meeting June COVID-19 vaccine supply target for EU

FILE PHOTO: Vials with a sticker reading, “COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only” and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Johnson & Johnson is not sure whether it will meet a target of delivering 55 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union by the end of the second quarter, the company’s Dutch subsidiary said on Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the healthcare conglomerate’s Janssen pharmaceuticals unit confirmed a report by Dutch national broadcaster NOS that the target is in doubt due to production delays in the United States.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration halted production of J&J’s vaccine at a plant owned by Emergent BioSolutions Inc in April after an inspection flagged numerous serious quality control issues.

“Unfortunately, the continued pause in drug substance manufacturing at Emergent BioSolutions is impacting delivery timings of our single-shot COVID-19 vaccine to EU member states and other parts of the world,” Janssen spokeswoman Eliane Lauwers said in an emailed statement.

“Drug substance from Emergent is critical for us to manufacture and ultimately deliver our COVID-19 vaccine worldwide, especially in Q2. We will be able to confirm delivery timings once the regulatory authorities have concluded their investigations,” Lauwers added.

Reuters reported last week that J&J has delivered fewer than 5 million doses to the EU since it began shipping in April, less than 10% of the 55 million target.

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