Though third-world countries struggle to obtain coronavirus vaccine, a factory in the United States has spoiled almost 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.
According to The New York Times, a factory mistake in the United States destroyed approximately 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot coronavirus vaccine, a disappointment for the company’s attempts to rapidly scale up production.
Emergent BioSolutions, one of about ten firms Johnson & Johnson is using to speed up the production of its newly licensed vaccine, failed to meet quality requirements, according to J&J.
Authorities detected a shipment of doses “that did not meet standard requirements” at a Baltimore plant owned by Emergent BioSolutions, according to the pharmaceutical firm.
The corporation says that the batch “was never progressed to the filling and finishing stages of our production process,” and that these doses have already been discarded.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet licenced the Emergent BioSolutions factory to produce part of the vaccine, according to J&J. Emergent did not respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson will send a second team of experts to the site to “supervise, direct, and facilitate all Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing.”
J&J had promised the US government 20 million doses of its vaccine by the end of March, and another 80 million doses by the end of May.
It said it was already expecting to supply 100 million doses by the end of June and was “aiming to deliver those doses by the end of May” in a statement about the manufacturing crisis.
President Joe Biden has stated that he will provide enough vaccines for all adults in the United States by the end of May. In addition to the 100 million shots requested from J&J, the US government has ordered enough two-dose shots from Pfizer and Moderna to vaccinate 200 million people by late May.
Since just one shot is needed and it can be shipped and preserved at normal refrigeration levels, unlike certain other vials that must be held frozen, the J&J vaccine has been regarded as important for vaccination programs across the world. In addition, the firm has promised to distribute the vaccine for no charge, but only during a pandemic emergency.