“Significant increase” in J&J doses coming next week

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This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. The nation is poised to get a third vaccine against COVID-19, but health officials are concerned that at first glance the Johnson & Johnson shot may not be seen as equal to other options from Pfizer and Moderna. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

BOSTON (SHNS) – The federal government expects Johnson & Johnson to deliver at least 11 million doses next week, putting the company on track to meet its month-end target, officials said Friday.

White House COVID Coordinator Jeff Zients said he expects to see a “significant increase” in J&J doses next week, which will then be distributed as quickly as possible to states, tribes and others who are administering vaccines.

The incoming 11 million doses would take J&J to 20 million total, and Zients said the company appears “on track to meet that goal.”

The J&J vaccine is widely viewed as key to the nation’s vaccination effort given its single-dose and its less intense storage and transportation requirements. It distributed about 4 million doses shortly after gaining authorization, but since then has not delivered many while working to ramp up manufacturing.

“As we anticipated, there would be a sharp increase at the end of the month. Johnson & Johnson is still in the earlier stages of manufacturing,” Zients said. “It will achieve, across time, a more regular weekly cadence.”

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