Coronavirus: Johnson & Johnson plant pauses production of COVID-19 vaccine, report says

LEIDEN, Netherlands — The lone Johnson & Johnson facility currently making usable batches of the company’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine has temporarily halted production in favor of an experimental vaccine targeting an unrelated virus, a report published Tuesday claimed.

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The pause affects the company’s facility in the Dutch city of Leiden and could potentially reduce the pharmaceutical giant’s global COVID-19 vaccine supply “by a few hundred million doses” over the next several months, The New York Times reported, citing sources “familiar with the decision.”

Meanwhile, other facilities have been hired to produce the single-dose J&J COVID-19 vaccine but are either not yet operational or have not yet received regulatory approval to ship their supplies for distribution, the Times reported.

J&J spokesperson Jake Sargent told CNBC in a statement that the company is “focused on ensuring our vaccine is available where people are in need,” and that it is fulfilling its obligations to the international groups trying to boost access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the Times report, it has not been determined if the pause has already affected vaccine stockpile levels, but J&J anticipates resuming production at the Leiden facility in March.

“We currently have millions of doses of our Covid-19 vaccine in inventory,” Sargent told CNBC, adding, “We are proud of the work of our many industry partners and the collaborations we have developed to produce our Covid-19 vaccine.”

Read the full report from The New York Times.

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