Canada is pausing to release hundreds of thousands of doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine after learning that they were made in part from materials from the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore.
A statement from Health Canada said it had “learned that a drug manufactured in place of Emergent was used in the manufacture of the original Jansen vaccines, received on April 28 and intended for use in Canada”, citing the pharmaceutical group. of Johnson & Johnson.
“As with all vaccines imported into Canada, Jansen vaccines will not be released until Health Canada is satisfied that they meet the high standards of the Department of Quality, Safety and Efficacy. Health Canada is currently working with Jansen and the FDA to obtain all the information needed to make that assessment before releasing the Jansen vaccines for distribution, ”it said.
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“Health Canada has rigorous processes for constantly monitoring the quality of vaccines administered to Canadians. “We will continue to ensure that products coming from the emergency facility or other facility are imported and distributed in Canada only if they are of high quality and safe to use,” the agency said in a statement.
Johnson and Johnson’s shot has not yet been used in Canada.
The announcement is the latest failure for the Emergent factory.
Johnson & Johnson signed a contract with Emergent to support vaccine production at the start of the pandemic, but the company came under fire after 15 million doses of the vaccine were destroyed last month by contamination with AstraZeneca vaccine ingredients.
Complicating the plant’s problems, the Biden administration removed AstraZeneca’s production from the site and ordered Johnson & Johnson to fully control vaccine production there.
Last week, federal regulators ordered the plant to suspend production of new Johnson & Johnson vaccine material as it conducted an inspection.