United States halts AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine production at Baltimore plant

U.S. ousts Astra from factory, puts J&J in charge

The Baltimore factory is owned by a company called Emergent BioSolutions, and it previously produced coronavirus vaccines for both Astra and Johnson and Johnson.

The Emergent BioSolutions plant, which had been making doses of both Johnson & Johnson's vaccine as well as a vaccine made for AstraZeneca, will now only produce J&J vaccines, the official said.

"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.

The United States has loan deals to send Mexico and Canada roughly 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, made at its U.S. facility. It's not been approved yet in the U.S.

Some employees at the Bayview plant hadn't been properly trained, the investigator claimed, according to the Post.

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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. Meanwhile, the measures Emergent put in place to "prevent contamination or mix-ups" had come up short, the investigator said.

Johnson & Johnson self-reported the incident to federal officials, with both parties investigating how it happened.

J&J confirmed over the weekend that it will take a more hands-on approach at the Baltimore facility, and will increase "the number of manufacturing, quality and technical operations personnel to work with the Company specialists already at Emergent".

Regarding the J&J mix-up, "it wasn't the case where an ingredient from one vaccine contaminated or impacted the other", Emergent CEO Robert Kramer said in an interview with CNBC's Meg Tirrell. "Through these checks, a single batch of drug substance was identified that did not meet specifications and our rigorous quality standards". Instead, the batch was disposed of.

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