Some senior Biden administration officials were reportedly aware two weeks ago that there were problems with a Johnson & Johnson contractor – issues that could result in the delay of a substantial amount of doses of the vaccine, according to a report.
Workers at Emergent BioSolutions’ Baltimore plant mixed up the ingredients for Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine with ingredients from another shot, ruining 15 million doses, it was reported on Wednesday.
Future shipments of the vaccine have since been halted.
But two senior officials working on the COVID-19 response said problems at Emergent’s production plant became clear earlier this month, Politico reported.
And a third official told the outlet that the Department of Health and Human Services found out last week about Emergent’s blunder.
“It was no secret that Emergent did not have a deep bench of pharmaceutical manufacturing experts,” the official said.
The company’s failure will delay future shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and distribution of doses to states will be slowed during the next few weeks, two of the officials told Politico.
But Johnson & Johnson will still be able to hit targets as spelled out in its contract with the federal government, one official said.
Johnson & Johnson has promised to send the government 100 million doses by the end of May but just barely met its goal of providing 20 million doses by the end of March.
The Food and Drug Administration is probing the mixup.