Coronavirus

Mass. to receive fewer Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses following manufacturing snafu

For the week of April 19, the state will get only about 4,000 doses of the single-shot vaccine, officials said Saturday.

Rogelio V. Solis
A vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Massachusetts is due to receive about 12,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this coming week, as US Centers for Disease Control data show a drastic reduction in the national distribution of the drug following a manufacturing error that spoiled millions of doses.

For the week of April 19, the state will get only about 4,000 doses of the single-shot vaccine, officials said Saturday.

Across the US, the CDC reported that more than 4.9 million Johnson & Johnson doses were distributed nationwide last week; Governor Charlie Baker has said the state received about 100,000 doses of the company’s vaccine during that period.

But this coming week, the CDC reported that only 700,000 Johnson & Johnson doses will be distributed nationally.

The announcement followed a New York Times report late last month that said 15 million doses of the vaccine were ruined at a Baltimore manufacturing plant when ingredients for the Johnson & Johnson drug were conflated with another vaccine due to human error.

In Massachusetts, Baker had emphasized the importance of the Johnson & Johnson treatment to the state’s vaccination rollout, saying that access to the single-dose vaccine would help speed up vaccinations.

“As I’ve said before, thank God Pfizer and Moderna were there when they were there, but the difference between two doses and one dose is not just convenience, it’s also capacity,” Baker said last month.

President Biden has required states to make all adults eligible for vaccine by April 19; in Massachusetts, anyone age 16 or older will be eligible on that date, the state said.

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But state officials warned that it could be some time before people can obtain a shot.

“As the Administration has said many times, we can only move as quickly as the federal government can get doses to the Commonwealth. It could take weeks for eligible individuals to get an appointment for vaccine,” the governor’s office said in a statement Saturday.

The reduction in doses comes as the state Department of Public Health reported that more than 4.4 million first and second doses of vaccines have been administered statewide, and more than 1.7 million people are fully vaccinated from COVID-19.

The number of coronavirus vaccinations administered in Massachusetts rose by more than 105,000 doses, the state reported Saturday, including vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, as well as two-shot vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech.

Amanda Kaufman of the Globe staff and correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report.

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