The mistake happened several weeks ago, and meant that the US Medicines Agency could not approve vaccines produced at the factory. Thus, parts of the vaccination in the United States are postponed indefinitely.
Authorities say the accident happened as a result of a human failure.
The plant is operated by Emergent BioSolutions, which produces vaccines for both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson is the latest vaccine to be approved by the US government. As the vaccine requires only one dose to confer immunity to the coronavirus, Johnson & Johnson has been praised for speeding up the American vaccination program.
The factory loss is thus a real flause for the drug manufacturer, which is not allowed to send out any new vaccine doses until the American authorities have investigated the incident.
The New York Times writes that all future doses of the vaccine, totaling tens of millions, were planned to come from the Baltimore factory. This rollout now hangs in the balance, and all doses produced at the factory must undergo a comprehensive quality control.
Despite the delays, US authorities still expect to have enough doses to reach President Joe Biden’s vaccine target. The Democrat has promised that all adult Americans will have access to the vaccine by the end of May. Thanks to the other two approved manufacturers, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, Americans are still on track to achieve this.
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