Emergent to resume J&J COVID-19 vaccine production at Baltimore plant

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A box of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines is seen at the Forem vaccination centre in Pamplona, Spain, April 22, 2021. REUTERS/Vincent West/File Photo

July 28 (Reuters) – Emergent Biosolutions (EBS.N) said on Wednesday it would resume production of Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ.N) COVID-19 vaccine at its troubled Baltimore facility, where operations were stopped in April after millions of doses were found to be contaminated.

“We are proud to be resuming production of bulk COVID-19 vaccine batches following additional reviews and collaboration with FDA and our manufacturing partners,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Kramer said.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, cited a letter from the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) saying the agency had no objections with the plant resuming manufacturing. (https://on.wsj.com/3iXSAfg)

U.S. authorities in April halted operations at the Baltimore plant following a discovery that ingredients from AstraZeneca’s (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine, also being produced there at that time, contaminated a batch of J&J’s vaccines.

An FDA inspection had also turned up a long list of sanitary problems and bad manufacturing practices. read more

The facility could make as many as 120 million doses a month at full capacity, but the finished doses might not be available until this fall, the Journal said, citing a source.

Johnson & Johnson and the FDA did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Ramakrishnan M.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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