Maryland leaders respond to botched vaccine doses at Emergent BioSolutions

Posted at 5:06 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 18:13:41-04

BALTIMORE — Following the news that Emergent BioSolutions botched 15 million doses of the J&J vaccine, city and state leaders responded.

"We are still getting shipments of other vaccines," said Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott.

Scott along with the health commissioner said they don't believe mix-up will effect supply here in Baltimore.

Now comes the question of public trust.

"It's an unfortunate thing that we have to push through," said Scott. "As someone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and knows it's safe, I'm just going to let people know that it is and we just have to make sure that they're putting things in place to try to prevent things in the future."

According to BioSolutions the impacted doses were identified and disposed of properly, never making it to the final filling stages.

In a statement to WMAR-2 News the company said:

"At Emergent, safety and quality are our top priorities. Our Bayview facility has been designed and validated to meet all current Good Manufacturing Practices. In addition, there are rigorous quality checks throughout our vaccine manufacturing processes, and through these checks a single batch of drug substance was identified that did not meet specifications and our rigorous quality standards. We isolated this batch, and it will be disposed of properly.

Importantly, the quality control systems worked as designed to detect and isolate this single batch.

Discarding a batch of bulk drug substance, while disappointing, does occasionally happen during vaccine manufacturing, which is a complex and multi-step biological process.

We continue to manufacture in support of our customers and the U.S. government, and we remain confident in our ability to meet the FDA requirements. We are very proud of the role the Emergent team is playing in support of the response to COVID-19 and look forward to continuing to do our part to help stem this pandemic."

During his own press conference Thursday Governor Larry Hogan called the mistake egregious adding he doesn't believe it will drastically impact the states supply of vaccines.

"We've been led to believe from our federal partners that it's not going to directly impact our allocations, at least for the foreseeable future and we're hoping that that's the case," said Governor Hogan. "Obviously there was some major screwup at this plant with human error of some type. I don't know the details of it. I don't think you can pin that on the City of Baltimore, and I don't know exactly how it went about but the good news is the robust program we have at the FDA is that they make sure that none of these things have been utilized and they caught the problem before it became a bigger problem."