Posted on February 09, 2022 in: Professional Practice
Johnson & Johnson has temporarily suspended production of its COVID-19 vaccine while it pursues a potentially lucrative vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus, which takes the lives of approximately 14,000 older adults in America each year. U.S. officials acknowledge that the company was transparent about its plans for the facility in Leiden, the Netherlands, from the start — plans that include resuming manufacturing of the COVID vaccine after a few months.
J&J has assured that it has millions of ready doses in inventory to keep the supply chain moving until then, but there are outside concerns that the stoppage will disrupt delivery to the developing nations that desperately rely on the product for its lower cost and manageable storage requirements. Other facilities tapped to make the J&J COVID vaccine — including a Merck plant in North Carolina, the troubled Emergent facility in Baltimore, and a site in India — are not yet producing usable vaccine; therefore, the halt at Leiden means no new batches are being made right now.
Even with its stockpile of finished doses, meanwhile, critics say J&J has already fallen short on its promise to provide 1 billion doses in 2021.