U.S. to allot 85% fewer J&J vaccines to states next week, data shows

(Reuters) -The U.S. government will allocate nearly 85% fewer Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines next week to non-pharmacy providers, data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed.

FILE PHOTO: A nurse draws from a vial of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Allocations will fall to 785,500 doses from 4.95 million doses this week. The data does not include a federal retail pharmacy program.

An official from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who did not wish to be named, told Reuters that J&J released about 1.5 million doses to the U.S. government this week, compared with about 11 million doses last week. The allocation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is done by the federal government.

The official said HHS expects J&J’s supply to be uneven, but the company had assured it was on track to meet its commitment of near 100 million doses by the end of May.

J&J did not respond to requests for comment.

J&J last month said it had delivered enough vaccines by the end of March to enable the full vaccination of more than 20 million people. The company said it would be able to deliver an additional 24 million single-shot vaccine doses through April.(bit.ly/3d0QHfV)

A New York Times report last week said that workers at an Emergent BioSolutions facility in Baltimore, which produced both AstraZeneca Plc and J&J doses, mixed up ingredients of the two vaccines, ruining 15 million J&J doses.

The Baltimore facility has not been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and a federal health official told Reuters last week that none of the vaccine doses from the plant have been used in vaccination efforts so far.

According to the CDC data, California is the main recipient of the J&J vaccine, followed by Texas and Florida. The vaccine allocation for California is down by about 88%, with the state set to receive a maximum of 67,600 doses next week.

A California health official told Reuters that the state’s allocation will fall further to 22,400 doses in the week starting April 18.

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