This illustration picture taken in Paris shows a syringe and a bottle reading "Covid-19 Vaccine" next to AstraZeneca company and University of Oxford logos. (File/AFP)

U.S. stops AstraZeneca vaccine production at Baltimore plant -NY Times

Washington(Reuters): The U.S. government on Saturday stopped a Baltimore manufacturing plant that ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ.N COVID-19 vaccine from making the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc, the New York Times reported.

J&J said in a statement that it was “assuming full responsibility regarding the manufacturing of drug substance for its COVID-19 vaccine at the Emergent BioSolutions Inc. Bayview facility.

It did not specify if it will take over the plant. The company did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment for clarification.

The New York Times reported that AstraZeneca said in a statement it will work with President Joe Biden’s administration to find an alternative site. The drugmaker did not respond to a request for comment.

The move by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ will render the Emergent BioSolutions facility solely devoted to making the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, and is meant to avoid future mix-ups, according to the newspaper report, which cites two senior federal health official

The U.S. government’s top infectious disease doctor told Reuters the country may not need AstraZeneca’s vaccine, even if it wins approval.

Reporting by Vishal Vivek in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio

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