OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – An obstacle in vaccinating America as roughly 15 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at a manufacturing site have been tossed out. Despite the announcement, the Oakland Coliseum vaccination said it will switch to the J&J vaccine Thursday.
This site has been giving up to 8,000 doses a day. According to California Office of Emergency Services, it has enough doses on hand to switch to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as planned.
There will be no cancellations at the Oakland Coliseum site for now as it switches to the one-shot vaccine. A spokesperson with the California Office of Emergency Services says it already received it's supply from a different manufacturing site.
The mishap with a dosage mix-up of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine reportedly happened at its startup site in Baltimore. The company issued a statement saying, "This quality control process identified one batch of drug substance that did not meet quality standards at Emergent Biosolutions, a site not yet authorized to manufacture drug substance for our COVID-19 vaccine."
UCSF Epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford said it's an unfortunate mishap to have throw away millions of doses that could've vaccinated those at high-risk.
"This would be nice to have more Johnson and Johnson vaccine because it is a one dose vaccine and it gives us an option for those that might have a hard time coming back for a second dose," Rutherford told KPIX 5.
The race to vaccinate has come at a time where states like Michigan and parts of the East Coast are seeing an increase in cases.
Rutherford hopes California can avoid the surge with vaccines and a cautious reopening plan. "We've been very careful about reopening the state and this is the time when all that caution that everybody doesn't like including all of us. This is the time it's paying off," Rutherford said.
The Oakland site is scheduled to shut down on April 11th just days before the state opens up vaccinations to everyone 16 and older. Lawmakers though have written a letter to FEMA asking them to keep it open as the demand for the vaccine is expected to grow.
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