Johnson & Johnson suspends sales forecast for COVID vaccines citing supply surplus, demand uncertainty

Johnson & Johnson announced on Tuesday it would be suspending its COVID-19 vaccine sales forecast, citing demand uncertainty and a global supply surplus.

The drug manufacturer, which made the announcement while reporting on its first quarter earnings results for 2022, reported $23.4 billion for its first quarter, compared to $22.3 billion around the same time last year.

However, it was lower than the projection of $23.6 billion that Refinitiv forecasted, according to Reuters.

Adjusted earnings per share was at $2.67, which Reuters noted was higher than the $2.56 per share that was expected.

Johnson & Johnson noted that its COVID-19 vaccine sales helped contribute to company growth but said that its declining sales of Remicade, an inflammatory disease treatment, partially offset those gains. 

Still, the COVID-19 vaccine brought in much less than what the drugmaker had anticipated: $457 million in the first quarter compared to estimates of as much as $3.5 billion, Reuters noted, due to safety concerns and low demand.

Late last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), citing a higher risk of blood clotting for young and middle-aged women, said that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should be recommended by health providers over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

The recommendation by the CDC does not limit the Johnson & Johnson vaccine itself. 

Research has also shown that two doses of the mRNA vaccines — Pfizer and Moderna — are more effective against COVID-19 than one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and the CDC has since recommended a booster shot two months after people have gotten their initial Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Tags COVID-19 J&J Johnson & Johnson Vaccine demand vaccine supplies vaccines

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