Johnson & Johnson has only a few million COVID-19 vaccine doses in stock as likely launch nears
By Carl O'Donnell and Jarrett Renshaw (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson has only a few million doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in its inventory even as likely U.S. regulatory authorization is only a few weeks away, White House officials said on Wednesday. J&J remains committed to providing 100 million doses by June but deliveries are likely to be 'back-end loaded' as J&J works with the U.S.
By Carl O'Donnell and Jarrett Renshaw
(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson has only a few million doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in its inventory even as likely U.S. regulatory authorization is only a few weeks away, White House officials said on Wednesday.
J&J remains committed to providing 100 million doses by June but deliveries are likely to be "back-end loaded" as J&J works with the U.S. government to boost supply, said Jeffrey Zients, the White House's COVID-19 response coordinator, on a press call. “Across the last few weeks we've learned that there is not a big inventory of Johnson and Johnson. There's a few million doses that we’ll start with," Zients said.
The United States has been struggling to hasten its vaccine rollout because of a limited supply of doses. Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc have promised to deliver 200 million doses of their two-dose vaccines by the end of March but so far fewer than 72 million doses have been shipped around the U.S. and around 55 million shots have been given.
J&J's experimental shot involves a single dose and can be stored in refrigerators as opposed to freezers, which could help speed up vaccinations.
Zients said the vaccine could be authorized in a couple of weeks. It is scheduled to be reviewed on Feb. 26 by a panel of outside advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
(Reporting by Carl O'Donnell; Editing by Chris Reese)
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