Blend of ingredients at a Baltimore facility has ruined 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, The New York Times reportedThat could delay future shipments of this vaccine in the United States.
There are no problems with the doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that have already been delivered – those produced in the Netherlands, the Times reported. But the tens of millions of shots that would be shipped in April would come from this Baltimore factory.
The factory, run by Emergent BioSolutions, received $ 628 million from the Trump administration last year to expand its vaccine production capacity. The plant was still awaiting the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of its Johnson & Johnson vaccine production lines, and this huge mistake – which Times sources attributed to human error – are likely to delay that further. It is not clear how this setback will affect the availability of this vaccine in the coming weeks.
Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech are still on track to meet their vaccination obligations in the United States, which should give the country sufficient doses to meet the Biden government’s goal of having injections available to every adult end of May.
But the limited availability of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could still hurt US efforts to vaccinate enough people for herd immunity. People who are reluctant to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and say they will “wait and see” are more likely to take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine than the Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna injections. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only takes one dose and is made with a more well-known technique. Just offering the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna shots could make it more difficult to convince some people to get vaccinated.
About 30 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to date.