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Vaccine makers announce progress and delays

A member of the Philadelphia Fire Department prepares a Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Associated Press/Photo by Matt Rourke (file)

Vaccine makers announce progress and delays

Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday didn’t say how many doses it discarded or how it would delay shipments when a batch of its vaccines failed to meet quality standards due to what it said was a faulty ingredient produced by Emergent BioSolutions. The drugmaker is using 10 companies to make components of its vaccine, but the Food and Drug Administration had not yet approved the Emergent factory to participate. The FDA repeatedly cited Emergent in the past for poor employee training and mold growth in a facility. The Biden administration said it would still have COVID-19 vaccines for every American adult by the end of May without all the promised Johnson & Johnson doses.

What about the other vaccines? Pfizer and BioNTech on Thursday said phase 3 trials showed their COVID-19 vaccine continued to provide strong protection after six months. The vaccine also appeared effective against the new virus strain from South Africa. Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla said the new data will enable the company to apply for full FDA approval: It currently has only emergency use authorization.

Dig Deeper: Read John Dawson’s report in Beginnings on side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines.

Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty-fighting and criminal justice. She resides with her family in Atlanta.


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