The situation could leave delays in the delivery of new vaccines to curb the pandemic in the United States, the country hardest hit by Covid-19. Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson reported that a batch of its Janssen antidote did not meet quality standards so it cannot be used. The local newspaper The New York Times reported that it is 15 million doses.
A human error at the Baltimore plant is the cause of the loss of millions of vaccines that were to be used for immunization in the United States, a country that struggles to accelerate the vaccination program while occupying the sad first place in the world in number of deaths and infections of Covid-19.
Workers at a plant run by Emergent BioSolutions, a Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca manufacturing partner that makes two new coronavirus vaccines, accidentally combined antidote ingredients several weeks ago.
The New York Times reported that the failure ruined about 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. This Wednesday the pharmaceutical giant reported on the situation publicly, noting that an ingredient used in a batch of its vaccines did not meet quality standards. Although without specifying the number of doses that should be discarded.
The company added that it makes every effort to strengthen its control over the work of Emergent BioSolutions, in order to avoid further quality failures.
He also explained that the damage is not in the doses that are already supplied throughout the country. All of those vaccines were produced in the Netherlands, where operations have been fully approved by federal regulators.
A delay in the vaccination program in the US is expected due to the error involving J&J
The confusion stops future shipments of Johnson & Johnson doses within the United States, which were projected in the tens of millions, since they were to be supplied precisely from the plant where the error originated. Now production is on hold as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigates.
In general, the situation would force a delay in the inoculation program of this country, because precisely to this vaccine, which requires only one dose, the Government previously attributed the acceleration of the national immunization plan.
However, this Wednesday and after learning of the problem, a federal official said that the objective of the Joe Biden Administration can still be met without additional injections of J&J.
The company had pledged to provide 20 million doses of its vaccine by the end of March and an additional 80 million doses by the end of May.
However, in the statement in which he reported what happened, he assured that he still plans to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June and that he even “aims to deliver those doses by the end of May.”
It is not yet clear how it will do so, or whether it will use other plants to meet demand.
As of Wednesday, J&J had provided about 6.8 million doses, according to the vaccine tracker from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some additional drugs may not yet have been recorded as delivered, and the CDC indicated Wednesday that another 11 million doses of the vaccine would be available for shipments starting Thursday.
Currently, the United States is one of the countries that leads the vaccination programs of its population against the virus, after Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, according to the Our World in Data program of the University of Oxford.
But the situation remains out of control, especially due to the appearance of new strains of the virus that accelerate its spread. The United States registers 30,458,572 accumulated infections and 552,019 deaths, according to the independent count from Johns Hopkins University.
With AP and local media