Johnson & Johnson halts production of single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, report says
The U.S., has favored shots from Moderna and Pfizer, because they appear to be more effective against COVID-19 variants, like Omicron.
(CBS News) - Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson has halted production of its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, according to a New York Times report.
The pharmaceutical company last year quietly shut down production at a plant in Leiden, Netherlands, which was the only facility where usable doses of the vaccine are manufactured, catching some of its customers off guard, the report states.
Related: CDC recommends Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines over J&J: What does this mean for you?
Johnson & Johnson has instead been using the plant to work on an experimental and potentially more profitable drug that could protect against an unrelated respiratory virus, according to the report.
The plant is expected to resume manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine, but it is unclear when.
Johnson & Johnson did not immediately reply to CBS MoneyWatch’s request for comment.
The J&J vaccine, called the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, made by Janssen Biotech, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is the vaccine of choice for poorer countries that are depending on the drugmaker to help them fight the pandemic.
Wealthier nations like the U.S., have favored shots from Moderna and Pfizer, because they appear to be more effective against COVID-19 variants, like Omicron, and because the Janssen vaccine has in the past been linked to rare, but potentially life-threatening blood clots.
Related: Carolinas halt administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine amid clot reports
Given that only one dose is required, though, it’s less expensive than its double-dose counterparts and also easier to deliver, making it popular in lower-income countries.
Copyright 2022 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.