White House officials knew weeks ago, but hid the news from the public. 15 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine had to be destroyed after a vendor mixed up ingredients.
Government contractor Emergent BioSolutions of Baltimore was awarded a contract to manufacture the vaccine in January, but had to destroy 15 million doses after it mixed ingredients from another coronavirus shot.
Two senior officials working on the federal government’s Covid-19 response told POLITICO that it became clear earlier this month that there were significant problems at Emergent’s West Baltimore plant, where the company was producing the active ingredient — or drug substance — for J&J’s vaccine. The officials said they had not known the exact details of the situation.
A third senior official said the Department of Health and Human Services found out last week that Emergent had botched the 15 million doses, and how. “It was no secret that Emergent did not have a deep bench of pharmaceutical manufacturing experts,” that official said.
Emergent BioSolutions promised to deliver 100 million doses by the end of may and the U.S. Government says it barely met is quota of shipping 20 million doses by the end of March.
The Biden administration will not sever ties with the company, instead asked Johnson and Johnson to help the company through its problems.
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