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US tells AstraZeneca to cut ties with manufacturer after mix-up ruined factory’s vaccine batch


Two have already been identified, according to an insider who spoke to Politico, and the US Government is desperate to avoid any more mistakes so that public confidence in the programme stays strong.

Production of the vaccine has started in anticipation of a green light, with 90 million doses understood to be ready, but having to switch manufacturing sites could prove to have a knock-on effect which slows production down.

While the company was using Emergent BioSolutions for US jabs, it used a different company called Catalent to produce vaccines for Europe, Japan and the international purchasing consortium, COVAX, Politico reported.

It’s unclear if the Catalent plant could take on the added work or if doing so would affect the amount of vaccines sent abroad. Catalent has been contacted for comment.

In a statement on Sunday, Emergent BioSolutions admitted it was winding down its operations with AstraZeneca.

“Emergent expects to align with the U.S. government and AstraZeneca on a mutually agreed ramp down of manufacturing for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine bulk drug substance,” it said.

In another statement, AstraZeneca said that it would continue to work closely together with the US Government “to support agreed-upon plans for the development, production and full delivery of the vaccine.”

The Anglo-Swedish company has come under pressure in recent weeks after a number of European countries paused use of the vaccine amid safety concerns related to blood clots.

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