Germany demands that J&J make up COVID-19 vaccine gap in July

Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine is seen at the OSU Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, U.S. March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse

FRANKFURT, June 13 (Reuters) - Germany's health ministry said Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) must deliver 6.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Germany in July to make up for a shortfall expected in June after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) told the company to dispose of millions of doses because of contamination concerns.

"This is regrettable because each dose counts," a ministry spokesman said on Sunday in response to an enquiry by Reuters. "We therefore expect from J&J that this amount is delivered in July as quickly as possible."

Without disclosing or confirming the number of vaccine doses affected, the FDA said in a news release that it had authorised two batches of the vaccine for use, that several other batches were not suitable for use and that others were being evaluated. read more

A media report citing sources familiar with the matter had said 60 million J&J doses must be discarded, and two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters that about 10 million doses had been cleared by the agency.

The delivery gap hits Germany hard.

J&J had been due to deliver 10.1 million doses of its one-shot vaccine in the second quarter, the ministry said.

The ministry spokesman said that Germany will receive 50.3 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech (PFE.N), (22UAy.DE) vaccine in the second quarter, Moderna (MRNA.O) would ship 6.4 million and AstraZeneca (AZN.L) 12.4 million, all fulfilling their supply commitments.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Elke Ahlswede Writing by Vera Eckert Editing by David Goodman

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