- Emergent BioSolutions in Baltimore ruined at least 15 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines earlier this year.
- 100 million AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the facility are under safety review.
- The US is scrambling to send vaccines from other manufacturers abroad, The New York Times reported.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The US is working to replace vaccines meant to be sent to other nations after problems at a production plant ruined AstraZeneca shots promised by the Biden administration, The New York Times reported.
More than 100 million AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines made at Emergent BioSolutions in Baltimore are being reviewed to see if they’re safe to use after several issues at the plant. If, after vetting by the Food and Drug Administration, the shots are deemed safe they will be shipped abroad.
In April, Biden promised 60 million of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, all that it had produced at the time, and then added another 20 million vaccines from other manufacturers in May. Altogether, the administration said it would share 80 million doses by the end of June.
Last week, Biden’s administration also pledged to share 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Sources familiar with discussions on the shipment told The Times that officials are working to replace the tens of millions of AstraZeneca shots that were a part of the donation with others from Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Though they may need the manufacturers’ permission, The Times notes.
AstraZeneca is not currently authorized for use in the US, as the company did not apply for emergency authorization. Pfizer and BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna’s shots all have emergency authorization in the US.
More than 176 million people in the US have already received at least one dose, which is over 53% of the entire population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Emergent BioSolutions also ruined at least 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year, due to human error when employees mixed up ingredients for the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines.
Additionally, the plant had several “systemic failures” including a report by the FDA that said some staff at the plant failed to shower or change their clothes that may have contaminated the J&J doses.
Emergent BioSolutions did not respond to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication.