The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday put Johnson & Johnson in charge of a Baltimore manufacturing plant that ruined 15 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.
The Biden administration also stopped the plant from making another vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, The New York Times reported.
The plant is run by Emergent BioSolutions, which partners with Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, the newspaper reported. Federal officials said human error was the reason for the delay.
Saturday’s move will leave the facility solely devoted to making the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine and was done to prevent future mixups, according to two senior health officials.
AstraZeneca said in a statement that it would work with the Biden administration to find an alternative site.
A spokesman for Emergent declined to comment.
The reorganization of the Baltimore plant is another setback for AstraZeneca, which does not yet have emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine, the Times reported.
There are three federally authorized vaccines, made by Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna.
None of the Johnson & Johnson doses made by Emergent have been released by the FDA for distribution. The agency’s acting commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock, said in a statement that the agency “takes its responsibility for helping to ensure the quality of manufacturing of vaccines and other medical products for use during this pandemic very seriously.”
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