UPDATED 11:55 AM PT – Saturday, June 12, 2021
The Food and Drug Administration ordered Johnson and Johnson to discard about 60 million doses of its Coronavirus vaccine. In a press release on Friday, the agency determined doses made at a plant in Baltimore, Maryland were not suitable for use.
However, the agency reportedly gave authorization to an estimated 10 million doses that were manufactured at the same facility, which they assure followed an extensive review of records. While FDA officials have yet to disclose why the batches needed to be thrown out, reports suggest the vaccines may have been contaminated.
“So for the fact that there was any potential contamination and they’re willing to then discard those doses to really give the U.S. population comfort in the fact that we’re actively looking,” Dr. Onisis Stefas, chief pharmacy officer for Northwell Health, explained. “We’re sharing that these medications are safe and effective for continual use.”
The factory was shut down in the month of April and a team of FDA inspectors were sent in to investigate. Security camera footage of the factory reportedly documented employees improperly handling the vaccine materials, which led the inspectors to cite unsanitary conditions.
Due to these problems, Johnson and Johnson has missed supply commitments and has forced the company to outsource vaccine production to its factory in the Netherlands.