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December 24, 2021updated 07 Jan 2022 6:22am

Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine problems continue

In 2021, the sales of J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine are forecast to be higher in the US than in the rest of the world mainly due to purchasing from the US government.

By GlobalData Healthcare

Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J’s) Covid-19 vaccine sales are forecast to consistently decline between 2022 and 2027. The forecast on average decreased by 35% from Q3 2021 to Q4 2021, as shown in Figure 1, and the vaccine is now expected to generate $6.7B in sales between 2021 and 2027. Sales are forecast to decline between 2022 and 2023 and then will remain consistent until 2027, as shown in Figure 2. One of the reasons for this decline is likely an increase in competition from Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty (tozinameran) in lower-/middle-income countries.

Adverse events might also play a role in the decline in sales forecast for the J&J vaccine. The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has found a possible link between J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine and rare cases of venous thromboembolism. In addition, the European Union has recommended including a warning for the rare side effect transverse myelitis on the packaging of the vaccine.

This adds to J&J’s problems as the company recently settled claims related to causing an opioid crisis in the US, and faced thousands of lawsuits related to its talcum powder being contaminated with asbestos, which causes cancers such as mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. The company has also recently decided to split its consumer health and
pharmaceutical businesses to increase management focus on innovative therapies and vaccines.

In 2021, the sales of J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine are forecast to be higher in the US than in the rest of the world, as shown in Figure 2, mainly due to purchasing from the US government. Starting in 2022, sales in the rest of the world will become higher than in the US, likely due to the convenience of a single-dose vaccine for developing countries, which lack the logistics for multidose vaccines.

J&J is also currently evaluating the effectiveness of its vaccine against new variants, including Omicron. The company is also pursuing an Omicron-specific vaccine. It remains to be seen if J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine sales will continue to decline or will grow again with the new developments.

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