AstraZeneca kicked out of US factory over mix-up ‘that ruined 15m vaccine doses’

David MillwardSun, 4 April 2021, 4:11 pm

US stops production of AstraZeneca vaccine at a Baltimore plant following mix-up - Matthias Schrader/AP
US stops production of AstraZeneca vaccine at a Baltimore plant following mix-up – Matthias Schrader/AP
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter

AstraZeneca has been kicked out of a production plant in Baltimore after a mix-up is thought to have contaminated 15 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab has yet to obtain approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, but production of the vaccine has started in anticipation of a green light.

It was being produced by a sub-contractor at a plant operated by Emergent BioSolutions in Baltimore.

The plant was also manufacturing Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines and workers at the factory mistakenly mixed the ingredients.

As a result 15 million doses of the vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson, which has been given FDA approval, had to be destroyed.

Johnson & Johnson will now assume full responsibility for the production of its vaccine at the plant.

The pharmaceutical giant, which has promised to deliver 100 million doses of its single-shot vaccine to the US by the end of May, said it will deploy additional staff at the Baltimore plant.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine will be produced elsewhere in the United States, the US Department of Health and Human Services said. The location has not been disclosed.

“AstraZeneca and the US Government continue to work closely together to support agreed-upon plans for the development, production and full delivery of the vaccine,” the company said.

The American decision is a fresh blow for the Anglo-Swedish company after Germany suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the under-60s last week because of concerns over reported blood clots.

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