An ingredient mix-up at a Baltimore vaccine manufacturing plant has ruined 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, according to U.S. media reports.
“Human errors do happen,” Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on Thursday in an interview with CBS. “You have checks and balances …
That’s the reason why the good news is that it did get picked up. As I mentioned, that’s the reason nothing from that plant has gone into anyone that we’ve administered to,” Fauci said.
Workers at the plant in Baltimore manufacturing two coronavirus vaccines accidentally conflated the ingredients several weeks ago, contaminating up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and forcing regulators to delay authorization of the plant’s production lines, according to The New York Times report.
The plant is run by Emergent BioSolutions, a manufacturing partner to both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. Federal officials attributed the mistake to human error.
“The quality control process identified one batch of drug substance that did not meet quality standards at Emergent Biosolutions, a site not yet authorized to manufacture drug substance for our COVID-19 vaccine. This batch was never advanced to the filling and finishing stages of our manufacturing process,” said Johnson & Johnson in a statement.
The error does not affect any Johnson & Johnson doses that are currently being delivered and used nationwide, including the shipments that states are counting on next week, which were produced in the Netherlands, according to The New York Times. But the mix-up has delayed future shipments of Johnson & Johnson doses in the United States, which were supposed to come from this Baltimore plant, according to media report.
Johnson & Johnson said it is providing additional experts in manufacturing, technical operations and quality to be on-site at Emergent to supervise, direct and support all manufacturing of its COVID-19 vaccine. “In coordination with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, these steps will enable us to safely deliver an additional 24 million single-shot vaccine doses through April,” said the company.