White House ‘Assured’ Vaccine Supply Won’t Be Interrupted By Johnson & Johnson Factory Debacle

(Youtube Screenshot/White House)

Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday the Biden administration had been “assured” by Johnson & Johnson that a recent mishap at a Baltimore, Maryland, plant wouldn’t affect COVID-19 vaccine supply.

A “human error” several weeks ago at a Baltimore facility producing the pharmaceutical company’s vaccine spoiled roughly 15 million doses, the company confirmed Wednesday. A quality control review at the plant, run by Johnson & Johnson partner Emergent BioSolutions, revealed that workers accidentally mixed up vaccine ingredients, spoiling the doses and forcing production to halt.

Johnson & Johnson has an agreement with the U.S. government to deliver 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine by the end of May, 24 million of which are set to be delivered in April.

Psaki said the company still expects to meet that commitment: “The issue doesn’t impact, one, any of the J&J doses that are available, of course, already on the market. Johnson & Johnson has made clear that they expect to deliver 24 million doses in April, and that they expect to meet their commitment of 100 million doses by the end of May.”

“We also have plenty of doses from Pfizer and Moderna,” she added. (RELATED: Is It Legal To Mandate A COVID-19 Vaccine? One University Is Doing It)

Psaki did not comment on potential vaccine supply beyond the month of May. “For the supply that we are anticipating through the course of May, we have been assured that they expect to meet those deadlines.” President Joe Biden has said the U.S. will have enough doses of vaccines to cover all American adults by the end of May. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: COVID-19 Vaccines Aren’t Mandatory Yet. Here’s How Biden Might Change That)

The current Johnson & Johnson doses being distributed were manufactured in the Netherlands, but all future doses are scheduled to come from the Baltimore plant. The facility is equipped to produce 1 billion doses per year, the company said.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is the only one-dose remedy approved for use in the United States. 30% of Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine so far, and nearly three million doses per day are being administered, according to The Washington Post.