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COVID-19: Millions Of J&J Doses Thrown Away After Factory Mixup

Millions of doses sof the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were destroyed after a mix-up at the lab.
Millions of doses sof the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were destroyed after a mix-up at the lab. Photo Credit: Johnson & Johnson

Millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine had to be destroyed after there was a dosage mix-up at a production lab, prompting a delay in shipments to states.

According to reports, employees at Emergent BioSolutions, a production facility in Baltimore that produces the vaccine, mixed up two ingredients, ruining approximately 15 million doses of the vaccine.

Emergent is one of several companies that Johnson & Johnson enlisted to speed up manufacturing of its recently approved vaccine, the company said. The Baltimore factory where the tainted vaccine ingredient was found had not yet been approved by the FDA, so no vaccine in circulation is affected. 

In response to the mix-up, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suspended new shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pending an investigation, though current shipments are still being distributed.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that one batch of the drug substance at Emergent BioSolutions “did not meet quality standards” and was “never advanced to the filling and finishing stages of our manufacturing process.”

Distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to slow once the FDA investigation concludes, though the company maintained its commitment to distribute 100 million doses by the end of May and at a rate of more than one billion doses by the end of 2021.

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