Syringes and a box of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Paul Hennessey | SOPA Pictures | light flare | Getty Images
The only Johnson & Johnson facility currently manufacturing usable batches of the company’s single-shot coronavirus vaccine has temporarily halted production, a new report announced Tuesday.
The Netherlands-based factory instead focused on making a different, possibly more cost-effective vaccine for a different virus, The New York Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The pause in production at the Leiden factory, which began late last year, could reduce J&J’s Covid vaccine supply by hundreds of millions of doses, one such person told the Times.
It is unclear whether the vaccine supply has been affected by the company’s move, according to the report. J&J is preparing for the Leiden factory to restart production of Covid vaccines in March, The Times reported.
J&J spokesman Jake Sargent did not directly comment on the Times article. He told CNBC in a statement that the company is “focused on ensuring our vaccine is available where people need it” and fulfilling its obligations to international groups trying to boost access to the vaccine. Covid.
J&J continues to deliver batches of vaccine materials to sites that bottle and package the doses, and “we currently have millions of doses of our Covid-19 vaccine in stock,” Sargent said.
“We are proud of the work of our many industry partners and the collaborations we have developed to produce our Covid-19 vaccine,” he said.
Polls show many Americans have cast a skeptical eye on the J&J Covid vaccine, which is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine that requires just one injection as the primary dose, compared to the one-shot schedule. two doses of vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna.
Last year, the FDA recommended suspending use of the J&J vaccine following a small number of reports of recipients developing rare blood clots. It also proved less effective against the deadly delta variant that appeared last year.
But several studies have shown that the vaccine remains effective in preventing hospitalization and death from Covid, and a booster dose has been shown to be effective in protecting against serious illnesses from the highly transmissible omicron variant.
The J&J vaccine is also easier to transport and distribute, as it requires only one dose and can be stored without a freezer, providing protection for people who otherwise could not be fully vaccinated.
Read the full New York Times report.