Brazil has 31 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses stuck in Covid limbo

vaccine janssen stuck
Photo: Oasi Samuel/Shutterstock

Roughly 31.7 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine have been stuck for months in a distribution center in São Paulo, according to reports by Brazil’s biggest television station TV Globo. 

The government says the vaccines will be distributed once states and municipalities request them. In a statement, the Health Ministry added that multiple states voiced concerns over receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to their lack of cold-chain infrastructure to properly store the doses — but didn’t specify which states.

So far, Brazil has received 41 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — 38 million as part of a contract signed by the government, and another 3 million which were donated by the U.S. government. So far, only 9.2 million of them have been given to citizens.

The vaccine was initially approved as a one-shot immunizer, but since November the government has recommended it to be taken with an added booster shot.

Disclaimer: A previous version of this post led some readers to understand that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be taken in three doses, instead of two. The information has been rephrased to avoid confusion.