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Johnson & Johnson on track for 100 million vaccine doses by end of June, bolstering US supply

Johnson & Johnson on track for 100 million vaccine doses by end of June, bolstering US supply
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Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that it is on track to meet its target of 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses for the United States by the end of June, one of a string of confident announcements on vaccine supply.

Johnson & Johnson's vaccine trial is being closely watched as it has the potential to produce a third vaccine for the U.S., helping further an increase in available doses. The company said Tuesday that it expects results from its Phase 3 trial “by early next week.”

If the vaccine proves to be safe and effective and is authorized in the coming weeks, the company’s chief financial officer, Joseph Wolk, told CNBC, “We're very confident and on track to meet all of our commitments, which would include 100 million doses to the U.S. by the end of June.”

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The 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will go even further because each person only requires one shot, in contrast to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that require two shots. 

Vaccine manufacturing is difficult and can be unpredictable. But Moderna also provided a positive update on its vaccine supply on Tuesday, saying that it is on track for its target of 100 million doses for the U.S. by the end of March, and 200 million by the end of June. 

Pfizer has also committed to 170 million doses for the U.S. by the end of June. 

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told Bloomberg News on Tuesday that the ability to extract an extra sixth dose from each vial of the vaccine will move up the timeline, with 120 million doses by the end of March instead of 100 million. However, some experts have expressed concern about having enough of the special syringes needed to extract the extra dose, something the Biden administration is looking to address. 

Altogether, though, if the Johnson & Johnson vaccine proves safe and effective, the U.S. appears on track to have enough doses to vaccinate all of the roughly 250 million adults in the country by the end of June. However, simply having the available doses is not the whole battle, as the slow initial rollout of the campaign highlighted that the logistical challenges of actually getting vaccines into people's arms are also key.