Vaccine Batch Has to Be Thrown Out

Ingredient bought by Johnson & Johnson flunked quality assurance test
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 31, 2021 7:15 PM CDT
Vaccine Batch Flunks Test, Gets Tossed
A vial with the Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID-19 vaccine sits out Wednesday at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center in Uniondale, N.Y.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A batch of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine failed quality standards and can't be used, the drug giant said late Wednesday. The drugmaker didn't say how many doses were lost, and it wasn’t clear how the problem would impact future deliveries. A vaccine ingredient made by Emergent BioSolutions—one of about 10 companies that Johnson & Johnson is using to speed up manufacturing of its recently approved vaccine—did not meet quality standards, the AP reports. J&J said the Emergent BioSolutions factory involved had not yet been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to make part of the vaccine. Emergent declined to comment.

J&J had pledged to provide 20 million doses of its vaccine to the US government by the end of March, and 80 million more doses by the end of May. Its statement on the manufacturing problem said it was still planning to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June and was "aiming to deliver those doses by the end of May." President Biden has pledged to have enough vaccines for all US adults by the end of May. The government has ordered enough two-dose shots from Pfizer and Moderna to vaccinate 200 million people to be delivered by late May, plus the 100 million shots from J&J. A federal official said Wednesday evening the administration's goal can be met without additional J&J doses.

(More coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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