Emergent, J&J Fall As Production Mix-Up To Cause Vaccine Delays By

© Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi – Shares of Emergent Biosolutions (NYSE:) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) fell Thursday, after a report that regulators had delayed authorization to a plant making Covid-19 vaccines after a mix-up was found.

The plant, located in Baltimore, belongs to Emergent, a subcontractor of J&J, according to the report in The New York Times. Emergent shares fell 10% on concerns over issues related to quality control at the plant. J&J shares fell 1%.

The mix-up has delayed future shipments of J&J doses in the U.S. while the Food and Drug Administration investigates.

Further shipments of the J&J vaccine — expected to total 24 million doses in the next month — were supposed to come from the plant, the NYT said. J&J’s single dose shot has been credited for the speedy rollout of vaccination the U.S. and the falling cases. Pfizer (NYSE:) and Moderna (NASDAQ:), the others making Covid shots in the U.S., have two-dose vaccines.

The plant makes Covid-19 vaccines for AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:), too. The British-Swedish company’s vaccine is yet to be authorized for use in the U.S.

The federal government last year enlisted the plant to produce vaccines from J&J and AstraZeneca. The two vaccines use the same technology employing a harmless version of a virus — known as a vector. But J&J’s and AstraZeneca’s vectors are not interchangeable.

In late February, one or more workers somehow confused the two during the production process, raising questions about training and supervision, NYT said.

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