AUGUSTA, Maine — Nearly 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine were ruined due to a mix-up at the manufacturing site in Baltimore, the New York Times first reported. But the Maine CDC on Wednesday assured Mainers the state’s vaccine allotment for next week has not been affected.
Maine CDC spokesperson Robert Long said the state’s federal partners “have confirmed that Maine will receive the full scheduled allocation of 20,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week.”
Employees at the manufacturing site reportedly mixed up ingredients weeks ago during the manufacturing process, according to the New York Times. Federal officials reportedly called the mix-up at Maryland-based biopharmaceutical firm Emergent BioSolutions human error. Emergent BioSolutions is a manufacturing partner to both Johnson & Johnson and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.
As the New York Times reported, the conflation of ingredients caused shipments of Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine to be put on hold by the factory manufacturing the vaccine.
Long said the Johnson & Johnson doses Maine will receive next week were not manufactured at the affected facility.
“The J&J vaccine Maine receives remains safe and effective,” he said.
Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah echoed the same assurances via Twitter.
In a statement from Johnson & Johnson Wednesday, the company said its "quality control process identified one batch of drug substance that did not meet quality standards at Emergent Biosolutions, a site not yet authorized to manufacture drug substance for our COVID-19 vaccine. This batch was never advanced to the filling and finishing stages of our manufacturing process."
While the statement from Johnson & Johnson didn't mention how many doses of the vaccine were put in jeopardy, the company emphasized that discovering the problem showed how "rigorous" its quality control practices are globally.