BRUSSELS, June 16 (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) is set to miss its COVID-19 vaccine supply target for the European Union for the second quarter after millions of doses were banned from use in Europe for security reasons, a spokesman for the European Commission said.
The setback could lead to further delays in the EU vaccination campaign, although the EU now relies mainly on the firing of Pfizer-BioNTech (PFE.N) (22UAy.DE) to vaccinate its population. More than half of adults in the EU have so far received at least one injection.
The European medicines regulator said last week that doses of J&J sent to Europe from an emerging plant (EBS.N) in the United States would not be used as a precautionary measure after a case of contamination with substances used for them. AstraZeneca injections, which are also manufactured in this factory. Read more
The EMA said in a statement to Reuters that 17 million doses were banned from use in the block after the move.
“Following the non-release of these batches, the company should not be able to deliver 55 million doses by the end of this quarter,” the spokesperson for the European Commission told Reuters on Wednesday.
The EU has ordered a total of 200 million doses from J&J, of which 55 million were to be delivered by the end of June. The company has so far delivered around 12 million shots of its single-dose vaccine.
The spokesperson declined to say how many doses J&J must now deliver by the end of June. He added that the EU continued to work with the company “towards the delivery of the overall agreed doses during this quarter and beyond.”
Johnson & Johnson remains committed to delivering 200 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union, Norway and Iceland and will continue to inform the European Commission and Member States in a timely manner as we let’s fine tune delivery times, “a J&J spokeswoman said in a statement.
EMA approval of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, meanwhile, was delayed because the June 10 deadline for submitting data was missed, sources told Reuters. The head of Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF said on Wednesday he expected the vaccine to be approved by the EU within two months. Read more
Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio Editing by Catherine Evans
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