The production error that occurred at Emergent BioSolutions and saw millions of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine discarded does not impact already distributed doses, the White House said on Friday. Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that all doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that have already been distributed in the U.S. have come from a different FDA-approved facility.
Zients said the FDA is currently working with Johnson & Johnson to further investigate the issue, and that they will provide and update when the probe is complete.
Workers at the Baltimore production facility reportedly mixed ingredients from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with those from the yet-to-be-approved AstraZeneca jab. On Thursday, the Associated Press revealed that Emergent BioSolutions has a history of citations from the FDA for issues regarding poorly trained employees, cracked vials and mold at one of its facilities.
Johnson & Johnson delivered 20 million doses by the end of March, and has committed to deliver an additional 24 million in the month of April.
"Most importantly, the company has committed to be at or near 100 million doses by the end of May," Zients said. "Stepping back, we will have enough supply for all Americans by the end of May, which is what is most important here," Zients said.
In an update on the country’s vaccination effort, Zients said the U.S. is averaging 2.7 million shots administered per day, up from last week’s 2.5 million.
"No other country has vaccinated this many people this fast," he said.