Germany’s health ministry has demanded that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson provide more doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine for the month of July following a shortfall of doses expected in June after millions of vaccine shots were discarded due to possible contamination concerns.
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told J&J to discard several batches of its Janssen vaccine that was manufactured at a Baltimore facility operated by Emergent BioSolutions. Reports citing anonymous sources said that upwards of 60 million doses of the vaccine are now being discarded, although both J&J and the FDA declined to comment on the matter in emails to The Epoch Times.
The FDA said in a news release on June 11 that it had authorized two batches of the vaccine for use, but it noted that several other batches shouldn’t be used and said others are now being evaluated. An anonymous source told Reuters that 10 million doses can be used.
A German health ministry spokesman told Reuters that the situation “is regrettable because each dose counts,” adding, “We therefore expect from J&J that this amount is delivered in July as quickly as possible.”
The health ministry and J&J didn’t respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment.
The spokesman for the German ministry said that J&J was slated to deliver 10.1 million doses of its vaccine in the second quarter and that about 50.3 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be shipped. Another 6.4 million of Moderna’s vaccine would be shipped, and 6.4 million AstraZeneca doses would be shipped in the second quarter.
Following the FDA decision, the European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency, said in a statement that it won’t use batches of the J&J vaccine that were made at the Emergent facility in Baltimore around the time that manufacturing issues were being reported.
“Authorities in the EU are aware that a batch of the active substance for COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen had been contaminated with materials for another vaccine manufactured at the same site,” the statement said, adding that the “batch concerned was not intended for the EU market.”
And because of that, the agency said that “supervisory authorities have recommended not releasing vaccine batches containing the active substance made at around the same time that the contamination occurred,” explaining that the move was done as a precaution. It’s unclear how many J&J doses will be affected.
In April, there were reports that a human error caused millions of J&J doses to be ruined at the Baltimore plant. Emergent, along with other J&J contractors, manufactures the vaccine in bulk before doses are shipped to other factories to finalize for use on vaccine recipients.