The FDA has stopped production of Johnson & Johnson vaccines at a facility in Baltimore.
The Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore, on the east coast of the United States, has long been a concern: 15 million vaccines had to be thrown into the trash in March after employees were found mixing ingredients for AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Pharmaceuticals Agency stepped in and gave Johnson & Johnson control of the plant two weeks ago.
However, last week’s check revealed another laundry list of problems: for example, employees will not be adequately trained and the waste will not be disposed of safely. It was then decided to suspend production there for the time being “pending further examination and treatment of the problems identified.”
How about production?
The FDA decision is another blow to Johnson & Johnson. Earlier, the vaccine from the US pharmaceutical giant was already being criticized around the world, when it emerged that the drug had a risk of blood clots. And now Johnson & Johnson may also be having production problems. The Baltimore plant is one of three plants in the world that produce the Johnson & Johnson vaccine basis. There is also a factory in India (but this country recently imposed severe restrictions on the export of vaccines), and one in Leiden in the Netherlands. The latter is in fact the only one still able to produce Johnson & Johnson vaccines for Europe.
The company spokesperson does not want to speculate at this time about the consequences of producing and distributing vaccines promised under the contract.