The European Medicines Agency on Thursday recommended approving Johnson & Johnson’s single dose Covid vaccine after a successful trial, paving the way for its use in Norway.
Johnson & Johnson has committed to delivering 200 million doses of the single dose Janssens vaccine. They have said that this will begin in the second quarter, the period between April and June.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) hopes to receive the first doses of the vaccine as early as April and has scheduled to deliver 300,000 doses each in April, May and June.
But news agency Reuters reported on Tuesday that Johnson & Johnson told the European Commission that it could be difficult for the company to deliver the first batch of 55 million vaccines to Europe by the end of June.
Production of the vaccine takes place in the EU and the USA.
Meanwhile, NIPH does not have any confirmed dates or delivery numbers for the first shipment, information they did have available for first shipments of the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines according to a report by newspaper VG.
“We have had contact with Johnson & Johnson, most recently this morning. They still cannot tell us anything about the deliveries,” the director of infection prevention and control at NIPH, Geir Bukholm, told VG.
If the doses do not arrive by April, then the possibility of NIPH’s best case scenario, in which everyone over the age of 18 is vaccinated by the end of June, hangs in the balance.
“It will have significant consequences for the progress of the vaccination program. It is a significant delivery” Bukholm told VG.
NIPH told the newspaper it is making alternate arrangements should they it not receive the vaccine by the end of April.
“We are familiar with reports in the media about uncertainty related to the deliveries from Johnson & Johnson. Due to this uncertainty NIPH operates with two different scenarios for the progress of the vaccination program: a sober scenario that does not include the doses from Johnson & Johnson and an optimistic scenario where the company is fully capable of delivery from April.”
Via its Norwegian press office, Johnson&Johnson told VG in a written statement that it was “working with regulatory authorities and stands by the obligation to deliver 200 million doses of Janssens Covid-19 vaccine in 2021, beginning in the second quarter”.