Biden administration stops AstraZeneca production in Baltimore, J&J put in charge after ‘error’ spoils 15mn doses – reports

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine reportedly will no longer be produced in a Baltimore factory after workers accidentally mixed ingredients with Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, spoiling 15 million doses.

The US Department of Health & Human Services has given Johnson & Johnson full responsibility of the Emergent BioSolutions facility following the error to avoid such an accident again, and AstraZeneca is now looking for a new production place, according to an unnamed health official who spoke to the New York Times.

The official told the Times that Johnson & Johnson will now be the only vaccine manufacturer in charge of the facility in a move that “is meant to avoid future mix-ups.” J&J is said to confirm the decision.

It was reported this week that human error had led to the mix-up of the two vaccines’ ingredients, ruining the batch of 15 million doses, though the affected vaccines were soon quarantined.

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According to the New York Times, “one or more workers somehow confused the two” vaccine ingredients during production in February and the error “went undiscovered for days until Johnson & Johnson’s quality control checks uncovered it,” and a federal investigation was launched.

“This batch was never advanced to the filling and finishing stages of our manufacturing process,” J&J said in a statement.

The Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is one of the latest to be approved for use in both the United States and European Union, while AstraZeneca’s jab – which has not yet been approved by the US – has experienced many difficulties, including a ban in some EU countries after investigations linked the vaccine to rare blood clots. Johnson & Johnson has promised to supply the US government with at least 100 million vaccine doses by late May.

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