The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Johnson & Johnson to discard 60 million COVID-10 vaccine doses on Friday.
The shots were made at a plant in Baltimore that had several violations and ruined 15 million doses of the vaccine during an ingredient mix-up.
People familiar with the situation told The New York Times that FDA said the shots have to be thrown away due to potential contamination.
Earlier in the day, the health agency allowed 10 million doses to be distributed in the U.S. to other countries, but with a caveat that there is no guarantee the J&J shots wee made under good manufacturing practices.
It has not been decided yet whether not the plant, run by Emergent BioSolutions, will be allowed to reopen after closing two months ago.
Officials say there is no cause for concern because all J&J doses administered in the U.S. so far were manufactured at the firm’s Janssen plant in the Netherlands, not at the Baltimore plant.
The FDA has ordered 60 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine to be discarded on Friday Pictured: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in Hartford, Connecticut, March 2021
The FDA has been working for weeks to come up with a solution after it was discovered that the plant ruined millions of J&J vaccines.
At least 15 million were left unusable after workers accidentally mixed-up ingredients for the J&J shot with that of the AstraZeneca jab.
On Thursday, it was revealed that the U.S. government had stopped all new shipments of the J&J inoculation so vaccination sites can clear a logjam of unused doses before they expire.
State and federal health officials told The Wall Street Journal that the one-dose vaccine won’t be made available for several weeks but the cessation is believed to be temporary.
Officials in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Oklahoma say they have not been able to order new J&J vaccine supplies for several days, even weeks.
‘It just hasn’t been included in our weekly allocations, from the feds, which means it is not available to order,’ Oklahoma State Department of Health Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed told the newspaper
Maryland Department of Health Assistant Secretary Bryan Mroz told The Journal that the state last ordered a shipment of doses several weeks ago.
When he and his team tried to order more, the government told them the vaccine was not available, and did not give a day for when it would be,
‘We’ve been using up our inventory in the state,’ Mroz said.
‘We definitely have more supply than demand.’
J&J’s vaccine was believed to be a game-changer in the fight against coronavirus because it only require one and does not need to be store at freezing temperatures.
It was expected to be used to inoculate hard-to-serve populations such as people living in rural areas and home bound seniors.
However, as of Friday, Pfizer and Moderna have fully vaccinated more than 129 million Americans with their two-dose shots and have made agreements with the U.S. government for enough does to vaccinate all Adults.
Comparatively, just 11 million Americans have been vaccinated with the J&J shot.
This is a breaking new story and will be updated.