Millions of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine doses have been lost after an ingredient mix-up, according to a new report. The incident happened at a factory in Baltimore, Maryland, where two different COVID-19 vaccine products are made; the ingredients for the two were accidentally mixed up, resulting in up to 15 million single-shot vaccine doses that must be trashed.
The issue happened several weeks ago, The New York Times reports. The Emergent BioSolutions facility where the vaccines were produced was supposed to pump out tens of millions of these Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses over the next several weeks, but the quality control issue may end up delaying the plant’s FDA authorization.
Pfizer and Moderna are both continuing to ship their respective two-dose COVID-19 vaccine products and, as a result, the US is still on track to hit its late-May vaccination goal. However, the loss of these doses is a blow to the wider vaccination effort.
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses that have already been distributed and administered were made in the Netherlands and aren’t impacted by this issue. According to the report, Johnson & Johnson has bolstered ‘its control over Emergent BioSolutions’ work’ to avoid similar future quality control issues.
It’s unclear how long this issue may delay regulators’ authorization for the facility’s production lines. The mix-up was due to ‘human error,’ according to the report, which cites federal officials. The facility is also manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine, which hasn’t yet received authorization for distribution in the US.