White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday the government did not expect emergent J & J’s troubles to prevent J&J from achieving its goal of 100 million shots by the end of May.
A senior administrative official told POLITICO on Wednesday that health officials learned of the contaminated batch late last week. However, other officials said there was a risk of problems with Emergent’s production.
The Maryland maker said it continues to manufacture substances and is “proud of the role the emergent team is playing in helping respond to COVID-19”.
Administration this week ordered J&J to take over the manufacturing process from Emergent directly, the senior official said.
AstraZeneca, which has also relied on Emergent for millions of recordings, told POLITICO that they “are aware of the reports regarding the facility and we understand that Emergent is investigating”. The UK drug maker has not yet applied for US approval, but has stated that at least 30 million doses will be available when released.
J&J has kept its promise of 20 million doses by March after another contract manufacturer, Catalent, helped fill and complete the vaccine bottles and shipped millions of doses in the past week. The J & J bump resulted in a record 33 million cans being allocated to states for distribution.
Going forward, J&J has emphasized that despite the looming delays, it can still hit its 100 million doses by the June target.