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UPDATE 1-J&J may not meet U.S. COVID-19 vaccine supply target by spring - NYT

(Adds details of supply deal, vaccine)

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson is facing unexpected delays in the manufacturing of its coronavirus vaccine and may not be able to supply as many doses it promised the U.S. government by spring, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

U.S. federal officials have been told that J&J has fallen behind its original production schedule and will not catch up until the end of April, when it agreed to deliver more than 60 million doses, the NYT reported, citing people familiar with the situation. (nyti.ms/38EX4n9)

Earlier this week, J&J’s chief executive officer said the company was on track to have close to a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses by 2021-end, and that it was in the final stages of analyzing data from a large trial of the vaccine.

J&J and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

In August, J&J signed a $1 billion contract with the U.S. government to supply up to 100 million doses by mid-2021.

Approval for J&J’s vaccine could help speed up the vaccination effort in the United States as it likely requires a single dose unlike the two currently approved vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc, which are to be administered in two-dose series weeks apart.

J&J said in December it expects interim data from the late-stage trial by the end of January. (Reporting by Manas Mishra and Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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