An EU official revealed to Reuters that Johnson & Johnson has expressed their concern about not being able to fulfill the delivery of 55 million doses of Coronavirus vaccine to the bloc due to some supply issues.
If the company delays the delivery of the vaccine doses, it will further damage the vaccination planning of the EU. Their vaccination campaign has already been delayed by late deliveries by other vaccine-making companies. A lot of member states had also caused the delay by the slow rollout of the process.
The company made the EU aware of their supply issues only last week. J&J revealed that it was ‘under stress’ to successfully deliver 55 million Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of June. The news was revealed to Reuters by an EU official who has first-hand knowledge about the interaction between EU and J&J, by staying anonymous.
The company said they will achieve the goal of delivering 55 million doses but they are concerned that it may take longer.
The vaccine manufactured by J&J requires only one dose to give protection against Covid-19. The vaccine is set to be approved b the bloc’s regulator to be used in the EU on March 11. According to EU officials, the vaccine delivery will possibly start in April.
The company plans to deliver over 200 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to the EU by the end of this year.
Johnson & Johnson told in an official statement that the company expects to deliver 200 million doses of the vaccine to the European Union in the second quarter of 2021 according to their agreement. The company refused to comment on the reasons for the delay or their second-quarter target.
J&J will start supplying doses of the vaccine in the US this month. The company has a target of delivering 100 million doses before May ends. They have already bisected the number of promised doses for March by half to only 20 million doses. They are currently increasing the number of new vaccine manufacturing units.
A spokesperson for the EU refused to make any comment on the supply issues of Johnson & Johnson. The Commission that manages the interaction between J&J and the EU has been criticized severely as the vaccination drive of the EU is slower than the US and Britain.
A schedule issued by the Italian health ministry on 3rd March and an inside document belonging to the German health ministry on 22nd February reveals that in its contract with the EU, J&J promised to deliver 55 million doses of their vaccine in the second year.
The 55 million doses comprise 7.3 million for Italy and 10 million for Germany. They have committed to increasing their supply to fold in the third quarter.
The company still has not revealed the figures for these deliveries. The EU official explains that they are not sure to expect as much as they want.