More than 300,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single injection COVID-19 vaccine will not be marketed in Canada.
The vaccines were quarantined in April before being distributed to the provinces because Health Canada was informed that the drug substance they contain was manufactured at the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore, Md., Where there is had quality control issues.
J&J had to throw away more than 15 million doses of vaccine made at the plant in early April after discovering workers had mixed the formula with that of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which was also made there.
Health Canada says the substance in the 310,000 Canadian doses was manufactured at the same time as the contaminated ones and cannot determine if they meet Canadian standards.
Therefore, it will not publish them for use in Canada.
The ministry says it is planning an on-site inspection of the Maryland facility this summer but, until that is complete, Canada will not accept any products or ingredients made there.
“Canadians can be assured that vaccines will not be distributed until Health Canada is satisfied that they meet the department’s high standards for quality, safety and efficacy,” the department said in a statement. press release Friday evening.
Earlier Friday, Joelle Paquette, general manager of Public Services and Procurement Canada, told a briefing that another unspecified number of doses of J&J are expected to arrive by the end of the month. It was not immediately clear where the second batch is being made or whether it will be affected by Health Canada’s decision.
The US Food and Drug Administration also announced Friday that some 60 million doses of the J&J vaccine from the Baltimore plant will need to be discarded.
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