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Johnson & Johnson ready to provide doses for 20M Americans by end of March
Johnson & Johnson said Monday that it plans to have enough doses of its vaccine for more than 20 million Americans by the end of March if its vaccine is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.
The vaccine is being eagerly awaited as the next in line to join the COVID-19 vaccines already in use from Pfizer and Moderna. An FDA advisory committee is meeting Friday to consider the application, and emergency authorization could come soon after.
The company for the first time on Monday gave some specificity regarding the number of doses it will have immediately available. The vaccine, unlike those from Pfizer and Moderna, requires only one dose, so 20 million doses would completely vaccinate 20 million people.
"Assuming necessary regulatory approvals relating to our manufacturing processes, our plan is to begin shipping immediately upon emergency use authorization, and deliver enough single-doses by the end of March to enable the vaccination of more than 20 million Americans," Richard Nettles, vice president of U.S. medical affairs for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a part of Johnson & Johnson, said in prepared remarks for the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The remarks were posted online by the committee ahead of Tuesday's hearing with several vaccine manufacturers.
The company also said it remains on pace to have 100 million doses by the end of the first half of the year.
The doses from Johnson & Johnson, assuming FDA authorization, can help speed the vaccination program by adding to doses already available from Pfizer and Moderna, and needing just one dose can simplify the process.
White House officials had previously said they were not expecting many Johnson & Johnson doses immediately.
Separately, Pfizer is also ramping up its supply. John Young, the company's chief business officer, said in testimony posted by the committee that the company will be able to increase production to 13 million doses per week by the middle of March, up from 4 to 5 million per week at the beginning of February.
The company says it remains on track for 120 million doses by the end of March and 200 million doses by the end of May.