A Baltimore facility that produced Johnson & Johnson vaccines seemed to have a worse handle on it than previously realized. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration believes 60 million doses of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine produced by Emergent BioSolutions must be tossed due to contamination, according to sources who briefed The New York Times. Another 10 million will be allowed to be distributed with a warning that Emergent’s manufacturing may be faulty. The facility closed in March once the contamination—caused when Emergent mixed an ingredient from AstraZeneca’s vaccine with a batch of J&J’s—led to 100 million doses of the latter being put on hold. No doses administered in the U.S. have come from Emergent but, rather, J&J’s plant in the Netherlands.
The incident is the latest in a series of hiccups involving the one-dose vaccine. This week, states raised concerns of a surplus of doses, which prompted the FDA to extend the vaccines’ expiration date by six weeks.