Governor says J&J quality mishap unlikely to impact Florida’s incoming vaccine doses

‘Millions’ of tossed out doses may impact Florida in coming weeks, DeSantis says

Governor says J&J quality mishap unlikely to impact Florida’s incoming vaccine doses
Governor says J&J quality mishap unlikely to impact Florida’s incoming vaccine doses

After a batch of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines failed to pass a quality inspection, Florida health officials have not been notified that the impending shipment of the single-dose vaccines will face delays due to the mishap, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

Johnson & Johnson didn’t disclose how many doses had to be thrown out and it wasn’t clear how the problem would impact future deliveries.

A vaccine ingredient made by Emergent BioSolutions — one of about 10 companies that Johnson & Johnson is using to speed up manufacturing of its recently approved vaccine — did not meet quality standards, J&J said.

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Florida is slated to receive more than 300,000 doses of the J&J vaccine next week, an increase from the more than 122,000 doses this week.

DeSantis said speaking in Titusville Thursday that “J&J had millions of doses that were compromised” but he believes the incoming doses are “still on track” for Florida.

“We have not been told anything differently, we’ve asked,” the governor said, adding, “We think it’s going to impact, not next week but the following weeks, and there will definitely be an impact.”

The governor said he was not concerned about any future delays of the Johnson & Johnson shots with plenty of Moderna and Pfizer shots to go around.

“The good news is is between what the state’s allotment is this coming week, and then what the Federal Pharmacy (Program) allotment is, all of that is growing,” DeSantis said.

A spokesperson with the Florida Department of Emergency Management at the FEMA vaccine site in Orlando at Valencia College said they have not been notified of any delays for the Johnson & Johnson shipment.

The FEMA-supported site will be giving out 3,000 doses of Pfzier shots per day throughout April.

On Thursday, a press officer with the FDA said they were aware of the quality control situation but unable to comment further. The official directed questions about the manufacturing to the firm in charge of the operation.

J&J had pledged to provide 20 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. government by the end of March, and 80 million more doses by the end of May. Its statement on the manufacturing problem said it was still planning to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June and was “aiming to deliver those doses by the end of May.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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About the Author:

Emilee is a digital journalist for News 6 and, where she writes about space and Central Florida news. Emilee hosts the Edward R. Murrow Award-winning podcast Space Curious. Previously, she was a space writer and web editor for the Orlando Sentinel and a web producer at the Naples Daily News.