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Report: Mistake at Baltimore plant ruined 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

Workers at a Baltimore plant accidentally conflated vaccine ingredients several weeks ago, spoiling about 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, The New York Times reports.

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Workers at Emergent BioSolutions' Baltimore plant accidentally conflated vaccine ingredients several weeks ago, spoiling about 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, The New York Times reports.

The mixup, which federal officials chalked up to human error, forced regulators to delay authorization of Emergent's production lines and halted future shipments of Johnson & Johnson doses in the U.S.

Emergent is also making the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has yet to be authorized for use in this country.

The Times reports the pharmaceutical giant has increased its oversight of Emergent's work. The news does not affect doses that are currently being delivered and used nationwide. All of those doses were made in the Netherlands. Further shipments, however, were supposed to be made in Baltimore or by Merck.

Hours before the news broke, James Glover, Emergent's vice president of manufacturing operations and the general manager of the Baltimore plant, said he had "no idea" why the plant wasn't included in Johnson & Johnson's initial emergency use authorization request.

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"We're continuing to produce products every day so nothing has changed," Glover said. "We're still in production 24/7."

Earlier this month, the White House scrapped plans for President Joe Biden to meet with the leaders of Johnson & Johnson and Merck at Emergent's Baltimore plant. That followed a Times report that the federal government last year paid Emergent more than $600 million for anthrax vaccines while state and local leaders dealt with shortages of personal protective equipment and other supplies. The meeting instead took place in Washington.

CNN contributed to this report.