Johnson & Johnson forecasts $2.5 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales this year

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(Reuters) -Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday forecast just $2.5 billion in 2021 sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, which has fallen way behind rival shots from Pfizer and Moderna as the company deals with vaccine production issues and safety concerns.

J&J said it expects full-year sales of $91.3 billion-$92.1 billion this year from the rest of the business, and $93.8 billion to $94.6 billion including contribution from the single-dose vaccine.

The J&J shot, once touted as an important tool for vaccinations in hard-to-reach areas, is far behind on its schedule for deliveries in the United States and Europe.

Use of the vaccine has also been linked to a very rare, potentially life-threatening blood-clotting condition. Last week, U.S. regulators added a warning to the vaccine related to a rare autoimmune disorder.

Pfizer Inc has forecast $26 billion in sales of its vaccine, while Moderna Inc has forecast $19.2 billion in vaccine sales this year. Both were approved in the United States last year, while the J&J shot was approved this year.

Both companies have said they expect to profit from their vaccines, while Johnson & Johnson has said it will make the vaccine available on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic.

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