Health Editor’s Note: Emergent BioSolutions was tasked and paid for producing Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The J&J vaccine requires only one dose to be effective and is stored at normal levels of refrigeration. This vaccine would give every single person it was given to an immunity against contracting COVID-19 with only one injection. No repeat appointments necessary. One and Done! The fact that this vaccine is only one dose makes it invaluable in reaching the hard to vaccinate groups such as homeless, transients, those in very rural areas, populations that have difficulties with mobility, communities of color with lack of transportation, hospital emergency department visits, or mobile vaccination plans.
Emergent BioSolutions is a Maryland biotech firm that is supposed to be producing J&J COVID-19 vaccines . But wait, millions of those doses have had to be destroyed because this company has negligently allowed contamination of the vaccines. Investigations have shown the Emergent did not follow industry standards at the Baltimore plant which allowed for contamination with molds, bacteria, approval of raw materials that have not been fully tested, and poor training of some employees.
What has allowed this horrible catastrophe to happen? The answer would be that there has been no real oversight by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a governmental agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which is responsible for development of medical countermeasures against pandemic influenza as well as other emerging diseases threats.
With Trump’s denigration of science and medicine rhetoric, BARDA had/has become less effective to police such factories as the Baltimore’s Emergent BioSolutions vaccine production plant. This is the price for allowing free rein and placing your friends into power. Destructions of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines, doses that should have protected millions from COVID-19. A continuation of the numbers of COVID-19 illnesses and deaths brought on by the Trump and his administration’s lack of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic by ignoring scientific and medical facts…Carol
WASHINGTON — More than eight years ago, the federal government invested in an insurance policy against vaccine shortages during a pandemic. It paid Emergent BioSolutions, a Maryland biotech firm known for producing anthrax vaccines, to have a factory in Baltimore always at the ready.
When the coronavirus pandemic arrived, the factory became the main U.S. location for manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, churning out about 150 million doses as of last week.
But so far not a single dose has been usable because regulators have not yet certified the factory to allow the vaccines to be distributed to the public. Last week, Emergent said it would destroy up to 15 million doses’ worth of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after contamination with the AstraZeneca vaccine was discovered.
Emergent and government health officials have long touted their partnership as a success, but an examination by The New York Times of manufacturing practices at the Baltimore facility found serious problems, including a corporate culture that often ignored or deflected missteps and a government sponsor, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, that acted more as a partner than a policeman.