US stops AstraZeneca vaccine production at Baltimore plant - NY Times

AstraZeneca will work with the Biden administration to find an alternative site

The department also asked Johnson & Johnson to have a special team oversee all aspects of manufacturing.

However, one of the federal officials said the Department of Health and Human Services was discussing working with AstraZeneca to adapt its vaccine to combat new coronavirus variants.

The Biden administration has facilitated for Johnson & Johnson to assume "full responsibility" of a production plant after a mishap botched likely millions of doses-worth of COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, only the one-dose regimen of the J&J jab is authorised in the US.

The move came after the Maryland-based biotech firm, Emergent BioSolutions Inc., accidentally mixed up the ingredients from the two vaccines, which forced regulators to delay approval of the plant's output, the newspaper said. Although the company did not note how the vaccine doses were contaminated or what they were contaminated with, an Emergent spokesperson said "human error" was to blame, The New York Times reports. Moreover, the contamination is a point of corporate embarrassment for both Johnson & Johnson and Emergent, after both lobbied the government for vaccine production contracts.


"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on adolescents, not just with the complications of the disease, but with their education, mental health, and wellbeing", said Paul Stoffels, vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson, in a statement Friday. It's not been approved yet in the U.S. "We isolated this batch and it will be disposed of properly". The government is working with AstraZeneca to relocate that production.

That's according to a Reuters source, a senior health official. "This is a critical part of ensuring quality and safety of vaccine product".

"There are rigorous quality checks throughout our vaccine manufacturing processes, and through these checks a single batch of drug substance was identified that did not meet specifications and our rigorous quality standards", an Emergent statement said.

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