Johnson & Johnson has quietly stopped its production of COVID-19 vaccines at a facility in the Netherlands late last year, New York Times reported.
The facility in Leiden, Netherlands was the only known location that was creating usable doses of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the report, the halt is temporary and will resume production again after a few months.
The NYT reported that the facility has instead been making an experimental but potentially more profitable vaccine to protect against an unrelated virus.
New York Times reported:
The American company, which has already fallen far behind on its deliveries to poorer countries, late last year quietly shut down the only plant making usable batches of the vaccine, according to people familiar with the decision.
The facility, in the Dutch city of Leiden, has instead been making an experimental but potentially more profitable vaccine to protect against an unrelated virus.
But over the next several months, the interruption has the potential to reduce the supply of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine by a few hundred million doses, according to one of the people familiar with the decision. Other facilities have been hired to produce the vaccine but either aren’t up and running yet or haven’t received regulatory approval to send what they’re making to be bottled.
Inside Johnson & Johnson’s executive suites, the decision to suspend production at Leiden prompted concerns that it would impair the company’s ability to deliver on its vaccine commitments to the developing world.
“This is not the time to be switching production lines of anything, when the lives of people across the developing world hang in the balance,” said Dr. Ayoade Alakija, a co-head of the African Union’s vaccine-delivery program.
Jake Sargent, a spokesman for Johnson & Johnson, said in an email that the company was “focused on ensuring our vaccine is available where people are in need” and that its global production network “is working day and night” to help fight the pandemic.
He said the company was continuing to deliver batches of the vaccine to facilities that bottled and packaged doses. He also said Johnson & Johnson had millions of finished doses in inventory.
Read more here.
Last year, a stunning new study that was conducted by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota has concluded that the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine increases the risk of developing a rare and deadly blood clotting condition in the brain.
The study, which was published on Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that recipients of the one-shot J&J vaccine are 3.5 times more likely (8.65 per 100,000) to develop cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) when compared to the general population (2.34 per 100,000).
**By Jim Hoft