What a paradox: AstraZeneca kicked out of US factory over mix-up ‘that ruined 15m vaccine doses’ as S. Sudan starts the vaccine administration tomorrow
AstraZeneca has been kicked out of a production plant in Baltimore after a mix-up is thought to have contaminated 15 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson. And the Ministry of Health says it will commence administering the Covid-19 vaccines tomorrow with health care workers at Juba Teaching Hospital.
The first doses of the 132,000 AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in South Sudan on March 25. The Ministry of Health earlier announced it would start rolling the jabs within the Presidency. President Salva Kiir and his five deputies were to lead the way. However, in a twist of events, the Director-General for Primary Healthcare revealed that the health care workers are to lead the way of getting the jabs.
“Our first target is the healthcare workers as you can see in the report they are at a high risk than the rest of the population. They will be the first target for this vaccination, Dr. Atem added.
But in a recent development, in a telegraph publication, NCMP learned that the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab has yet to obtain approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, but production of the vaccine has started in anticipation of green light. It was being produced by a sub-contractor at a plant operated by Emergent BioSolutions in Baltimore.
The plant was also manufacturing Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines and workers at the factory mistakenly mixed the ingredients. As a result 15 million doses of the vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson, which has been given FDA approval, had to be destro Johnson & Johnson will now assume full responsibility for the production of its vaccine at the plant.
The pharmaceutical giant, which has promised to deliver 100 million doses of its single-shot vaccine to the US by the end of May, said it will deploy additional staff at the Baltimore plant. AstraZeneca’s vaccine will be produced elsewhere in the United States, the US Department of Health and Human Services said. The location has not been disclosed.
Dr. Atem disclosed that the vaccines will be administered at four centres in Juba—the State House J1, Juba Teaching Hospital, Giada Military Hospital, and the Police Hospital in Juba.