The Trump administration also deployed a handful of Pentagon employees to integrate into Emergent’s quality control section of the facility. They are still there today.
At one point in February 2021, Emergent accidentally mixed active ingredients for J & J’s vaccine with those for AstraZeneca’s shots, said two people familiar with Emergent’s operations. One of these people said Emergent’s batch failed a test at the end of the month, and the company sent the 15 million doses to J & J’s plant in the Netherlands for further testing. J&J ran a series of additional tests that confirmed the contamination. Bite officials said they did not learn about the contaminated doses until the last week of March.
The FDA has over the years cited Emergent for poorly trained personnel and handling mold and contamination in its facilities. Following its April 2020 inspection of Emergent̵
Both Trump and Biden officials claim that the federal government could not have done anything to help Emergent strengthen employment and quality control around the production of Covid-19 vaccines. Although the government has helped fund the development and testing of J & J’s shots, it has no control over the operation of Emergent’s plant or how the company operates its internal inspection units.
Since the news of batch pollution broke out, J&J has said they will devote additional staff and resources to the Emergent facility, which will work 24/7 on the issue. “Specifically, the company is adding dedicated managers for operations and quality and significantly increasing the number of staff in production, quality and technical operations to work with the company specialists already in Emergent,” according to a recently released statement from J&J.
It is unclear how many additional J&J employees have been assigned to the Baltimore plant in recent days.