(Ottawa) Distribution of 300,000 doses of vaccine from Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) arriving in Canada on Wednesday has been suspended due to concerns over product quality.
The federal government issued a statement Friday night in a press release.
“Health Canada has learned that a drug produced by an Emergent facility is [dans l’État du Maryland] were used in the production of doses of Janssen vaccine that were originally intended for use in Canada and were received on April 28, ”the statement said.
“Like all vaccines imported into Canada, Janssen vaccines can only be distributed if Health Canada is satisfied that they meet the department’s high standards for quality, safety and efficacy,” he adds.
“Health Canada is currently working with Janssen and the FDA. [Food and Drug Administration, aux États-Unis] to get all the information you need to complete this review, ”reads the same press release.
AstraZeneca vaccines are manufactured in the same plant in the United States.
Canadian health authorities, however, remain “confident[es] that the 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine imported into Canada from the facility meet specifications, ”a press release said Friday.
These doses were shipped to Canada under a “loan” agreement with the United States.
The place of production was kept secret until Friday.
304,000 single doses of the vaccine arrived in Toronto on Wednesday.
At a press conference the next day, the head of national distribution, Major General Dany Fortin, explained that vaccine doses are being thawed pending shipment to provinces and territories.
He didn’t want to specify where they were from.
“We are not disclosing some of the details of our supply chain for obvious reasons, but I assure you that the product arriving is safe and will be distributed as soon as possible,” he said Thursday.
In early April, US media reported that employees at Emerging BioSolutions, the Baltimore plant that makes Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, accidentally mixed up certain ingredients, spoiling 15 million doses.
Health Canada’s press release on Friday did not specify when the alarming dose quality information was received.