Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is expecting that by April it will have adequate COVID-19 vaccine doses for over 100 million Americans as nationwide vaccination efforts ramp up.
JNJ to ramp up vaccine production
Dr. Mark McClellan, the company’s board member, and former FDA administrator indicated that JNJ will go all out in the production of the vaccine as it awaits data from its large-scale clinical trial. The results from the study will facilitate emergency use authorization approval from the FDA. McClellan said that he knows that the drugmaker is making a large supply to have enough vaccine doses for 100 million people by spring. He said that this will make a huge difference in the supply and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks once the results of the trial are out.
The New Jersey-based company will release data from its large scale third phase trial later this month. Preliminary data from early-stage studies showed that JNJ’s vaccine candidate can evoke an immune response to the virus. After releasing the study results, the company will then seek FDA approval for emergency use authorization permitting the company to administer the vaccine to people across the country just like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Despite putting efforts towards the vaccine, Johnson & Johnson had experienced production snags in recent months leading to it falling behind the goal of producing 12 million vaccine doses by end of February. Although the company has fallen behind schedule, it has promised that it will meet its vaccine supply obligations this year.
The US experiencing vaccine shortages
McClellan said that even though vaccine supplies will grow in the coming days, it will be hard to keep up with the increasing number of Americans in need of inoculation. Currently less than half of the 38 million doses that manufacturers have delivered have gotten into Americans. Officials in areas like New York City are warning of vaccine shortages.
However, the Biden administration has set a target of a million doses per day in a bid to address the shortages.