Covid19 – Canada halts J&J vaccine distribution over quality control issues
Health Canada says it will not be releasing some 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to quality control concerns. The moves comes in wake of a decision by U.S. regulators to destroy millions of doses of the vaccine that were produced at a troubled Baltimore factory.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had determined that two batches could be released from the plant, which is owned by Emergent BioSolutions and has been shuttered for eight weeks. But it said several other batches are not suitable for use and additional batches are still under review.
Canada has also received 1.5 million doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine made at the same facility and Health Canada said it is also working with them “to ensure the facility meets manufacturing standards, and that all vaccine are of high quality”.
However, the AZ vaccines have already been distributed and administered across the country. Health Canada asserted that it “remains confident that the 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine imported from this facility meet quality specifications”.
At a press briefing on Friday, Joelle Paquette, director general for Public Services and Procurement Canada, said another shipment of J&J COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in Canada by the end of June.