A report by the "New York Times" that Johnson & Johnson has temporarily stopped producing the "Janssen" corona vaccine at its plant in Leiden, the Netherlands, raises questions. The newspaper cites people familiar with the matter. The pharmaceutical company is buttoned up. A spokesman for the company said when asked by tagesschau.de: "The location will also play a role in our vaccine production in 2022."
Production stop apparently only temporary
According to the New York Times, the plant is said to have stopped production at the end of last year. An experimental vaccine to protect against an unrelated virus is currently being produced at the plant. The plant will probably resume production of the corona vaccine in a few months. The deliveries of the vaccine are not at risk: "We currently have millions of doses of our Covid 19 vaccine in stock," said a spokesman when asked by tagesschau.de.
In addition, according to the company, the Leiden site is not the only site where "Janssen" is produced: "We have worked tirelessly to forge partnerships and build a global production network on four continents to produce our Covid-19 vaccine." Where "Janssen" is ultimately manufactured is a decision that is made internally on the basis of production planning. According to the New York Times report, however, the attempt to take over production at other production sites failed because they are either not in operation or still have to receive official approval to manufacture the vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine approved in 82 countries
218 countries worldwide are vaccinated against the corona virus. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is approved in 82 of those countries. "Janssen" can also be vaccinated in Europe; However, fewer and fewer doses of the vector vaccine are being administered. At the beginning of June last year there were still over a million cans within the EU, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control last week the number was just 28,878.
One of the reasons for this might well be that there was a temporary break in the vaccination of the single-use vaccine because rare blood clots had occurred after the immunization. As a result, trust was lost. In addition, people who have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson in Germany must also receive second and third vaccinations in order to be able to prove complete vaccination protection or a booster vaccination. This negates the advantage of the one-time vaccine in this country.
One-time vaccination is particularly useful in developing countries
Developing countries in particular continue to rely on the single-use vaccine. "Janssen" is mainly used in African countries such as South Africa, Western Sahara, the Ivory Coast and the island of Madagascar. It is also used in the South American countries of Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia and in some Asian countries such as Nepal and Afghanistan. A large proportion of the vaccine doses are made available to the federal states through donations as part of the COVAX vaccination initiative. However, when asked, a spokesman was unable to provide exact figures on how many vaccine doses the group will supply to developing countries this year as part of COVAX.
Because especially in regions with poor medical infrastructure, it is a decisive advantage that the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson only has to be vaccinated once, in contrast to other corona vaccines, so that full vaccination protection is achieved. In addition, the vaccine does not have to be stored and transported at such low temperatures as mRNA vaccines, which are mainly vaccinated in industrialized countries.