As vaccines are slowly rolling out to the population through phases, a Baltimore production facility is without doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A mix-up at a Baltimore production facility that ruined doses of COVID vaccines has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to delay shipments of the vaccine. The production facility, run by Emergent BioSolutions, had partnered with Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca to manufacture coronavirus vaccines, according to FOX Business. Employees at Emergent BioSolutions reportedly mixed up two vaccine dosages.
According to the New York Times, nearly 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were ruined. Federal regulators reportedly attributed the mistake to “human error” and have delayed authorization of the plant’s production lines.
Confirmed this past Wednesday by Johnson & Johnson that a batch of the COVID-19 vaccines failed quality standards and can’t be used. Which the company didn’t say an exact amount of doses that were lost or if it would impact future deliveries of the vaccine. Johnson & Johnson further explained the situation by stating that a vaccine ingredient made by Emergent BioSolutions (one of 10 companies that the drugmaker is using to speed up manufacturing of the vaccine) did not meet the quality standards. Therefore putting shipments on hold for now.
With the situation at the Baltimore production facility, many people are asking if they should be alarmed by the situation. In an interview with Slate.com associate professor of operations management at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, Tinglong Dai explained if people should panic or not over the 15 million doses being damaged.
“But we should be confident about the end product because of the many tests. It is very unlikely that the quality issues would go undetected before they go to market. It has a lot to do with the processes. Pretty much every factory, before they started producing COVID vaccines, had a serious issue. If you just looked at those results from the FDA, you would think that’s a complete failure. And then they have to transform themselves from a failed student to an A student overnight. But that’s exactly what has happened. So violations are very common, and contaminating 15 million doses isn’t common, but does happen. We should still be comfortable with the results.” stated Dai.
The mix-up of dosages for the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine raises questions for many people who are still hesitant about getting the vaccine. However, Johnson & Johnson ensured that the doses that were damaged are not included with the vaccine doses that are currently being used and shipped out worldwide. The company also stated that doses that were damaged wasn’t even FDA improved just yet.
Representatives from Emergent BioSolutions declined to make comments about the situation. The FDA also said it was aware of the situation but referred questions to Johnson & Johnson.