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The vaccine rollout has seen its fair share of delays, from states running out of doses to the recent winter storm halting administration of the vaccine across the country. Now, White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, is warning that another delay is on the horizon, and this time it's with a new vaccine: The infectious disease expert just said you may have to wait longer than expected for the Johnson&Johnson shot. Keep reading to find out what is causing the delay, and for more on this highly anticipated vaccine, This Is Who Should Wait for the Johnson&Johnson Vaccine, Experts Say.
Dr. Fauci said the Johnson&Johnson vaccine won't have many doses available at first.
It may seem like you've been hearing about the Johnson&Johnson vaccine for a while now, but it still hasn't even been approved. On Feb. 23, CNN's Alisyn Camerota asked Fauci why the vaccine is taking longer than expected. The White House adviser assured Camerota that the promised doses would eventually be produced, but noted that there would be an initial delay.
If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants Johnson&Johnson emergency-use authorization (EUA), Fauci predicts, "They're not going to have a lot of doses on the first day. It'll likely be relatively few, which will then scale up a lot more … It's just a matter of what happened with their production capability and how they are now going to be revving up, and then soon after that, they’re going to have a lot of doses." And for essential vaccine guidance, Don’t Do This Until a Month After Your COVID Vaccine, Experts Warn.
Eventually, there will be plenty of Johnson&Johnson vaccine doses.
While the company isn't churning out vaccines as rapidly as officials had hoped for, Fauci said Johnson&Johnson will meet the contractual agreement they made. The agreement he described would mean having 100 million doses of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine by the end of June or the beginning of July.
"What we’re seeing is that instead of being front-loaded with a number of doses that are coming out, it very likely will be backloaded," Fauci explained. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
The White House said Johnson&Johnson only has a few million doses ready.
Reuters reported that during a press call on Feb. 17, Jeffrey Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said there are only a few million doses in Johnson&Johnson's stock as the vaccine nears approval. "Across the last few weeks, we’ve learned that there is not a big inventory of Johnson&Johnson. There’s a few million doses that we’ll start with," Zients said.
An administration official told CNN that the federal government initially expected Johnson&Johnson to have about 20 to 30 million doses by April, but are now expecting less than 20 million by that date. And for more of the latest vaccine news, The CDC Says Don't Do This With the Second Dose of Your COVID Vaccine.
FDA advisers will meet Feb. 26 to discuss granting Johnson&Johnson emergency-use authorization for the vaccine.
On Feb. 4, Johnson&Johnson announced they had submitted to the FDA for emergency-use authorization. Per CNN, vaccine advisers to the FDA will be meeting on Feb. 26 to discuss whether they should recommend the vaccine for an EUA. Johnson&Johnson said in its statement that the company "intends to distribute vaccine to the U.S. government immediately following authorization." And for vaccine behavior to avoid, The CDC Says Don’t Do This Within 2 Weeks of Your COVID Vaccine.