The single-dose Janssen vaccine had been hoped to give the coronavirus vaccination campaign in Spain and Europe a big boost and accelerate the speed so that herd immunity would be reached more quickly, especially after the early delivery delays and issues with the AstraZeneca formula.
But the reality is turning into a fiasco.
Spain’s Ministry of Health officials have confirmed that the North American giant Johnson & Johnson, has once again told the EU authorities that this week it will not meet its planned delivery schedule again and that only with luck it will it supply half of the promised doses.
This latest disappointment is by no means the first. Since the first 146,000 vials arrived in Spain in mid-April the supply has been "totally irregular", according to sources.
Spain’s Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, had promised that in the second quarter, Spain would receive 5.5 million doses of the Janssen vaccine but, so far, the multinational has only delivered 410,400 doses, less than a tenth of what was committed.
And of those, only half have been administered after the decision to reserve this formula exclusively for the group aged between 70 and 79 years old due to a small number of blood clot problems in women between 18 and 48 years old detected in the United States.
The Ministry of Health freely admits that it does not count on Janssen delivering the 17.5 million doses that Spain has purchased to be delivered between March and September and that the vaccination strategy will continue to rely on the Pfizer vaccine. The company has been able to increase production rates and is able to supply 13 million doses to Spain this June alone.
The Public Health Commission last week approved the use of Janssen for people such as maritime and seasonal workers, immigrants without papers, the homeless or Spaniards residing abroad, but now the experts themselves doubt that they can undertake that campaign.