Johnson & Johnson Halts Shipment of COVID Vaccine after Factory Mistake Ruins 15 Million Doses

Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccines at Northwell Health’s South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y., March 3, 2021. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Johnson & Johnson has paused shipment of its COVID-19 vaccine in the United States while the Food and Drug Administration investigates a factory mixup that ruined roughly 15 million doses of the vaccine.

Workers at a Baltimore plant run by Emergent BioSolutions, a manufacturing partner to Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, reportedly mixed up the vaccines’ ingredients several weeks ago, according to the New York Times.

The mistake will not affect the doses that are being delivered and used nationwide, as those doses were produced in the Netherlands. However, all future shipments of the vaccine — some tens of millions of doses in the next month — were set to come from the Baltimore plant. 

Nonetheless, federal officials expect to have enough doses to meet President Biden’s goal of securing enough vaccine to immunize every American adult by the end of May as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are delivering vaccines on or ahead of schedule.

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