US Cancels Contract With Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer
US Cancels Contract With Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer

By Zachary Stieber

The contract was reached in June 2012. It included manufacturing therapies for cancer and tuberculosis vaccines. In 2020, it was expanded to include manufacturing for third-party COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

But Emergent’s work on a batch of drug substances for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was pinpointed as ruining some 15 million doses. Workers there mixed up ingredients for J&J’s shot and a vaccine from AstraZeneca.

The issue delayed the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for months.

Johnson & Johnson was put in charge of the vaccine production by the Biden administration, but regulators later reportedly decided that another 60 million doses needed to be thrown out.

Food and Drug Administration investigators later found substandard conditions at the plant, including black residue on the floor and peeling paint in various rooms, along with inadequate waste handling and overcrowding of materials, the agency said in a report (pdf) made public in April.

They said workers failed to follow standard protocols in place to prevent cross-contamination.

Emergent said in a statement at the time that it was “committed to working with the FDA and Johnson & Johnson to quickly resolve the issues identified.”

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