FDA asks J&J to discard millions of vaccine doses

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration on Friday said Johnson & Johnson must throw away millions of doses of its COVID-19 vaccine that were manufactured at a troubled Baltimore factory.

The New York Times first reported that J&J was told to toss around 60 million doses.

But two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters another 10 million doses were cleared for use.

Those J&J doses are expected to be exported to other countries - according to a source - while another source said the doses are already in vials and ready for use.

Without disclosing or confirming the number of vaccine doses, the FDA said in a news release that two batches of the vaccine could be released but that multiple other batches were not suitable for use and that others were under review.

The agency said it was not yet ready to allow manufacturing of the J&J vaccine at Emergent BioSolutions' plant, which was ordered in April to stop production of the vaccine.

That order came after it was discovered that ingredients from AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, also being produced at the plant at the time, contaminated a batch of J&J's vaccine.

AstraZeneca's shot is no longer being made there.

Europe's drug regulator said on Friday that batches of J&J's COVID-19 vaccine made for the region around the time the contamination issues were revealed at the Baltimore plant would, as a precaution, not be used.