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FDA asks J&J to cut 60 million doses of vaccine produced at ailing factory

Background: The FDA ordered Emergent to stop vaccine production for Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca in March after Emergent inadvertently contaminated 15 million J&J vaccines with the active ingredient in the AstraZeneca vaccine. Tens of millions of doses of vaccine from each company have been in limbo as federal regulators have tested them to rule out contamination and determine if they are safe to use.

The bottom line: Newly authorized doses of J&J could end up being shipped overseas as part of the Biden administration’s plan to donate vaccines to countries in need. U.S. demand for vaccines is slowing and many states have reported having a surplus of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

And after: The FDA is still reviewing certain stocks of J&J vaccines manufactured by Emergent, as well as the 60 million doses of AstraZeneca. It has also yet to clear the Baltimore plant to resume vaccine manufacturing.

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