U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly working with leading biotechnology firm, AstraZeneca Plc to find a novel manufacturing capacity in the United States after the firm agreed to leave a Baltimore-based vaccine facility that would focus entirely on making vaccine doses for J&J (Johnson & Johnson).
The talks are the newest development after a major error at the Emergent BioSolutions Inc. plant, where ingredients for the two companies’ COVID-19 vaccines were mixed up, leading to a set of nearly 15 million doses worth of drug material being ruined.
The vaccine of AstraZeneca has not been approved for the use in U.S., still the government ordered around 300 million vaccine shots, some of which have been made. The United States loaned roughly 4.2 million of its first vaccine doses to Mexico and Canada, who have cleared the vaccine use.
Jen Psaki, current White House Press Secretary, stated that the manufacturing step was taken to make sure that J&J is the only drug being manufactured at the current site, given that the problem was about the cross-contamination of J&J and AstraZeneca.
Psaki further added the Baltimore facility has not been approved for production of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, which means that none of the vaccine dosages administered as well as distributed across the U.S. so far were produced there or affected by the faut. The country still has sufficient COVID-19 doses to meet its key goal of having vaccine supply for every adult in America by May end.
Andy Slavitt, White House advisor for COVID-19 response, stated that the AstraZeneca vaccine would go through the authorization process of FDA once an application is submitted.
In the meantime, the U.K. confirmed that seven people died from some kind of unusual blood clots after getting the dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Now, Australia is also investigating the safety of the extensively used vaccine. Approximately 18 million vaccine doses have been dispensed in the U.K. and the officials there claim the shot to be safe.