The White House said Wednesday that it was "surprised" to learn in recent days that Johnson & Johnson would not be able to meet its previously agreed-to commitment to provide 10 million doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine to the federal government by the end of February.
According to CBS News, Dr. Richard Nettles, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen's vice president of medical affairs, told a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday that it would not be able to provide the previously-promised 10 million doses.
Nettles told the committee that Johnson & Johnson would only be able to provide 4 million doses at most by next weekend.
In a report released Wednesday, the FDA deemed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be safe and effective, keeping the candidate on track for widespread distribution by early next week,
The announcement means that Johnson & Johnson will be behind the eight ball if the FDA, as expected, approves the vaccine for emergency use authorization by the weekend.
Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response team coordinator, confirmed in a briefing Wednesday that the federal government would be shipping between 3 and 4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to states as soon as it is approved for Emergency Use Authorization.
During a White House briefing Wednesday, press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration was “surprised” to learn that Johnson & Johnson would not be meeting its goal.
"We're going to continue to work them to ensure that can be expedited," Psaki said.