FILE PHOTO: A nurse draws from a vial of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo


J&J says error led to failed batch of COVID-19 vaccine ingredient; reports say production delayed

By Reuters | Posted - Mar. 31, 2021 at 6:26 p.m.

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NEW YORK (Reuters) — Johnson & Johnson said on Wednesday it had found a problem with a batch of drug substance for its COVID-19 vaccine, which did not meet quality standards at Emergent Biosolutions' production site in Baltimore, Maryland.

The issue was identified and addressed with Emergent and shared with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, J&J said, adding it was sending more people to supervise manufacturing at the plant.

Workers at the plant manufacturing coronavirus shots for J&J and AstraZeneca accidentally conflated the vaccines' ingredients several weeks ago, the New York Times earlier reported, adding that federal officials attributed the mistake to human error. The Times said about 15 million doses of the one-shot vaccine were ruined in the mixup. The CDC reports that there are currently 54.6 million fully vaccinated people in the United States, so 15 million doses would represent a significant loss.

J&J tapped contract manufacturers Catalent and Emergent to scale up production and meet its global supply targets. Catalent provides the final stage — called fill and finish — while Emergent makes the drug substance.

The company also said it had met its commitment to deliver more than 20 million single-shot vaccines by the end of March in the United States.

(Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021


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