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STORY BY SARAH OWERMOHLE AND DAVID LIM

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Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines J&J could miss its ambitious vaccine goals
Published on April 3, 2021 2:04 AM

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Where will J&J produce millions of vaccines?
WHERE WILL J&J PRODUCE MILLIONS OF VACCINES? Multiple Johnson & Johnson partners chipping in on the coronavirus vaccine are mired in questions about their factories' processes this week, stoking fears that J&J could miss its ambitious vaccine goals — a worry that the company strongly dismisses.

J&J still aims to deliver 100 million doses by the end of May, it said in a statement where it promised to take a more direct role in supervising production at contract plants.

What happened: First, concerns about hygiene at a Merck plant broke open in a whistleblower complaint about FDA inspections that alleged unsanitary work conditions at the Durham, N.C. facility that is slated to help produce J&J vaccine substance.

"We produce our medicines and vaccines to the highest standards, in full compliance with regulations and good manufacturing practices," Merck said in a statement.

Within hours there was another hit — J&J's Maryland partner to produce the vaccine, Emergent BioSolutions, had mixed up ingredients with another vaccine, ruining millions of shots. Senior administration officials knew about potential Emergent problems for more than a week but the batch problem came to light late last week, Erin Banco, Rachel Roubein and Sarah reported.