The facility, in the Dutch city of Leiden, has instead been making an experimental but potentially more profitable vaccine to protect against an unrelated virus.
But poorer countries remain reliant on Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which does not require ultracold refrigeration. It has been shown to provide strong and long-lasting protection against severe disease across variants, including omicron, when given as a two-shot regimen. As a single shot, the vaccine is less expensive and relatively easy to give to hard-to-reach populations.
Unlike companies such as Pfizer and Moderna, which have reaped billions of dollars in profits, Johnson & Johnson did not find the COVID vaccine to be a big moneymaker.
Since production of the COVID vaccine was halted late last year, the Netherlands plant has been manufacturing an experimental vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, that will be used for a clinical trial in older adults in wealthy countries, a person familiar with the matter said. Even if it proves effective, the vaccine is not expected to become available for several years.