Emergent BioSolutions CEO Says Workers Did Not Mix AstraZeneca, J&J Vaccine Ingredients
- Tonight we're hearing from the CEO of Emergent BioSolutions. That's the company that runs the Baltimore facility where millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine were reportedly spoiled. WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren is live at Emergent with the calls for transparency. Mike.
MIKE HELLGREN: Vick, there are a lot of lingering questions. The big one is how exactly this mix up could have happened. The CEO of Emergent is not providing specific details.
ROBERT KRAMER: Corruption, misunderstanding, or miscommunication.
MIKE HELLGREN: Robert Kramer is the CEO of Emergent BioSolutions, the company that runs the Baltimore lab that reportedly ruined millions of Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses. He told CNBC he disputes published reports the problems stem from employees mixing up ingredients from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines, which are both made here.
- There's reporting from NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post citing senior administration officials saying that there was basically a contamination with the AstraZeneca vaccine of the J&J vaccine. That is not what happened?
ROBERT KRAMER: So it was, again, an unspecification result for one batch of product.
MIKE HELLGREN: Kramer would not reveal how many doses were spoiled. According to published reports, the number is 15 million.
ROBERT KRAMER: I have seen, as well, where that has been equated to 15 million doses. All I can say, Meg, is it's one batch.
MIKE HELLGREN: That's more than enough to vaccinate everyone in Maryland. Enough to inoculate 7% of the United States, according to Tinglong Dai, an expert with Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, who says Emergent needs to provide a full accounting of what happened
TINGLONG DAI: I think we need a better clarity. We really need a full transparency.
MIKE HELLGREN: None of the doses made in Baltimore have been used, as the facility still needs FDA approval. The Biden administration was asked why they failed to notify the public about the mix up which first came to light in the New York Times.
JEN PSAKI: It wasn't going to impact our supply. It wasn't going to impact the supply to the American people. And of course, J&J is working through this with the FDA.
MIKE HELLGREN: And the White House says they found out about this issue last week. A few weeks before that, President Biden abruptly canceled a visit to this very facility. Reporting live in Baltimore, Mike Hellgreen, WJZ.