On Thursday, medical company Johnson & Johnson admitted that it lost around 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines during a vaccine mix-up.
Johnson & Johnson which was a part of the Jansen pharmaceutical company admitted to a manufacturing issue. The company claimed that the contamination was the result of a manufacturing mix-up at its Baltimore plant
The company released a statement on its website. According to J&J, the contamination happened after several batches used an ingredient that did not pass the quality standard.
The company claims that the ingredient came from Emergent BioSolutions. The supply chain company was by J&J to speed the production.
The company failed to provide additional information on the matter. They also refuse to confirm the true extent of the damage. Instead, J&J assured that it would not affect the shipment of 24 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that will be due next month.
The Baltimore plant was scheduled to manufacture the vaccine. It remains uncertain how the company will cope with the demand. “This batch was never advance to the filling and finishing stages of our manufacturing process,” the company stated.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the FDA had already launched an investigation on the matter.
Emergent had been repeatedly involved in a scandal. In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cited the company over repeated violations. The violations include poorly trained employees and defective products such as cracks in the vials. The FDA also suspected anthrax molds in one of its facilities.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious diseases expert, admitted that such instances do happen. Fauci also reminded manufacturing companies to inspect the vaccines and ensure product quality.
The head of the coronavirus task force said, “ That’s the reason why the good news is that it did get picked up.”
The FDA recently approved the one-shot vaccine. While the vaccine might be more efficient in terms of distribution, it has a lower effectiveness rate. Unlike its counterparts, Pfizer and Moderna, the J&J vaccine ranks 74.4% in terms of effectiveness.
While there are substantial differences between the three vaccines, the American Medical Association urges Americans not to compare.
AMA Chief Health and Science Officer Mira Irons said, “Don’t get caught up necessarily on the numbers game, because it’s a safe and effective vaccine.” Irons added, “accept the fact that now you have three highly effective vaccines.”
Just this week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom received a dose of the J&J vaccine. The state also inoculated at-risk citizens like seniors.
Currently, the U.S. listed over 30 million coronavirus cases and more than 552,000 fatalities. The number accounts for 11 percent of the total deaths in the country. U.S. President Joe Biden had since pushed for an aggressive COVID-19 vaccine program.
Today, pharmaceutical companies have distributed over 195 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines across the country.
Ultimately, J&J plans to distribute 1 billion doses of COVID-19 for 2021.