Toronto: Canada will withhold the coronavirus vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals from public use amid an investigation into quality control issues at a US vaccine manufacturing plant where they were produced, Health Canada said.
Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson admitted to having produced a faulty batch of coronavirus vaccines at an East Baltimore facility, reportedly due to a mix-up of two ingredients that led to the ruining of about 15 million doses. Canada had received its first shipment of 300,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses – manufactured at the same East Baltimore Emergent BioSolutions facility currently under investigation – earlier in the week.
“As with all vaccines imported into Canada, the Janssen vaccines will only be released for distribution once Health Canada is satisfied that they meet the Department’s high standards for quality, safety and efficacy,” Canada’s health regulator said in a statement on Friday.
Health Canada is working with Johnson & Johnson and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to verify the quality, safety and efficacy of the received shipment, the statement said.
The regulator added that it remains confident that the 1.5 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that were ‘loaned’ to Canada by the Biden administration and produced at the Baltimore plant are safe for use.