Report: Vaccine maker secretly dumped contaminated doses
After a year of investigating Emergent BioSolutions, U.S. House committees released a report Tuesday detailing quality control failures from the Maryland-based producer. The information showed Emergent was ill-equipped to produce millions of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines when it formed a $628 million contract under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed. Roughly 400 million vaccines were destroyed, more than five times what the firm previously disclosed.
Were any contaminated vaccines distributed? The investigating committees said no compromised batches made it into completed vaccines. According to the audit, the Bayview, Md., plant failed to resolve contamination problems, inadequate management and computer systems, and unsanitary cleaning practices. When those problems led to contaminations in the key ingredient, the company had to destroy the affected batches. The report alleges the company tried to prevent government inspectors from accessing the plant and hid quality control issues. A company spokesperson said Tuesday that Emergent never knowingly misled the Food and Drug Administration and the report’s allegations are inaccurate.
Dig deeper: Read Juliana Chan Erikson’s report in Beginnings about COVID-19 drugs and their effectiveness.
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