US backs J&J in jabs scandal with AstraZeneca

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US may not need any vaccines from AstraZeneca even if it wins license, Reuters reported quoting senior health officials. The jab still has not seen green light for usage in US, but latest developments over output quality control and doubts in data, provided by AstraZeneca may lead to scrapping any potential order for US.

The local authorities went further, by banning the British drug maker from using production facilities which were given to rival Johnson and Johnson. By now the two firms have used common facilities to produce their Covid-19 vaccines. The two companies were involved in a scandal linked to mixed ingredients of the two vaccines. As a result some 15 million doses were ruined. US has put J&J in charge of the plant that botched the Covid-19 vaccine and removed AstraZeneca.

J&J said it was “assuming full responsibility” of the Emergent BioSolutions facility in Baltimore, reiterating that it will deliver 100 million doses to the government by the end of May. The Department of Health & Human Services facilitated the move, the health official said in an email, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. AstraZeneca said it will work with President Joe Biden’s administration to find an alternative site to produce its vaccine. The development, first reported by the New York Times, further hampers AstraZeneca’s efforts in the United States. The government has criticized the firm for using outdated data in the results of its vaccine trial. It later revised its study.

Workers at the Emergent BioSolutions plant several weeks ago mixed ingredients for the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines, the Times said earlier this week. The government’s move to have the facility make only the J&J single-dose vaccine is meant to avoid future mix-ups, the Times said, citing two senior federal health officials. The top US infectious disease doctor told Reuters on Thursday the country may not need AstraZeneca’s vaccine even if it wins approval. The United States has loan deals to send Mexico and Canada roughly 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, made at its US facility.

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