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.