The White House on Monday stated that the United States will still have enough vaccines for all Americans by the end of next month, despite problems with a single batch of "drug product" resulting in the loss of 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.
"We are still on track to have the number of doses we need to vaccinate all adult Americans by the end of May," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
"This was not even a facility that was approved by the FDA."
She continued, saying the US was not relying only on these doses and that J&J has assured that they will provide the 24 million doses that were promised in April. Speaking on the question on vaccine hesitancy in the US, Psaki said, "this is why the FDA approval process is in place."
She also said, "In many ways, it was the process working, because the FDA had not approved the site. There were steps taken to address what some of the issues were, and we also have a range of contingency plans."
The US Press Secretary during a briefing said, "When we all talk in here about, 'why did we order so many doses, why are we at the point where we are sharing doses with every country around the world?' Part of it is because we need to plan for things coming up. Things like this come up.”
"We have to plan for a range of contingencies," Psaki added, assuring that even after all this, the nation can have enough vaccines to inoculate all adult Americans by the end of May.
Johnson & Johnson, last week, has said that a single batch of the ‘drug product’ has failed quality control inspection and has been discarded.
Currently, J&J’s vaccine currently being distributed in the US is produced at a plant in the Netherlands, but Emergent BioSolutions, a contract manufacturer, was producing doses at a facility in Baltimore. The factory was awaiting authorization from the US FDA when the contamination problem was reported.
Emergent was also producing a vaccine for AstraZeneca, whose vaccine is yet to be authorized in the US. As Johnson & Johnson's, AstraZeneca's vaccine uses a virus to carry genetic material - a so-called viral vector.
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Both Emergent and Johnson & Johnson have said quality control measures caught the problem and none of the vaccines produced at the plant had been shipped out of fill into vessels or for distribution. The firm also informed that no one had been at risk due to the contamination.
As per a report by CNN, Emergent has been helping Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca in the making of Coronavirus vaccines for months, while a batch of 15 million doses that had to be rejected, Emergent has successfully made 115 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, which are in various stages of the supply chain.