Johnson & Johnson is in the final stages of analyzing clinical trial data of its coronavirus vaccine, but may not be able to deliver as many doses as promised.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based firm is expected to release results from its study of 40,000 volunteers in as little as two weeks.
Health experts have been excited for J&J’s vaccine because it only requires one dose as opposed to Pfizer’s and Moderna’s which are given in two doses four weeks apart.
Additionally, the vaccine has to be kept in a refrigerator as opposed to others that need to be stored in ultra-cold temperatures
But the company is facing unexpected delays in the manufacturing of its jab and may not be able to supply as many doses it promised the U.S. government by spring, reported The New York Times.
Federal officials have been told that J&J has fallen behind its original production schedule and will not catch up until the end of April, when it was supposed to deliver more than 60 million doses.
Earlier this week, J&J’s chief executive officer Alex Gorsky said the company was on track to have close to a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by 2021-end.
In August, J&J signed a $1 billion contract with the U.S. government to supply up to 100 million doses by mid-2021.
Dr Carlo de Notaristefani, lead manufacturing adviser for Operation Warp Speed, acknowledged the delay to The Times.
However, had added that the company might be able to catch up with initial production goals of 12 million doses by March.
‘I agree there was a problem,’ de Notaristefani told the newspaper.
‘Manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is not a black box where you turn the key and start counting.’