15 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine unviable due to production error – Observer

“A human error” was enough to make 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine unfeasible, says The New York Times. Due to a failure in the mixing of ingredients attributed to employees at the plant in Baltimore, USA, Johnson & Johnson was forced to suspend the production of its single dose vaccine and will delay future deliveries.

The factory used by the company is from Emergent BioSolutions, which also works with AstraZeneca. However, the doses for the vaccines of the latter pharmaceutical company will not have been affected. Emergent BioSolutions will only re-manufacture doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when the Food and Drug Administration – or FDA, the US federal agency that regulates this sector – complete the investigation as to what happened. Due to this problem, Johnson & Johnson will be more demanding in controlling the work done by Emergent BioSolutions to avoid quality problems.

Johnson & Johnson is responsible for the single dose vaccine. The error, reported the same newspaper, happened “a few weeks ago”. However, as the vaccine doses of Johnson & Johnson that have been administered in the USA were manufactured in the Netherlands, the vaccination process in the country will continue to proceed as planned until May, and has not been affected, at least for now. After that, it is not yet known what impact this error will have on the North American vaccination plan.

In April, Johnson & Johnson expected to send tens of millions of doses of its vaccine from this Baltimore plant. With the investigation going on, it is not known what will happen to the doses that will not have been affected by this error. A source at The New York Times says that because of this flaw, the legitimacy of these doses is being called into question, which could lead to the cancellation of deliveries.

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