June 23 (Reuters) - Two U.S. House panels have expanded their probe into problems at Emergent BioSolutions Inc's Baltimore plant and have asked Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca for documents related to their selection of the contract manufacturer for their COVID-19 vaccines.
Manufacturing of J&J's vaccine at Emergent's plant in Baltimore was halted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration following an error in which ingredients from AstraZeneca's shot, also being produced at the plant at that time, contaminated a batch of the J&J vaccine.
In letters https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2021-06-22.CBM%20JEC%20to%20Soriot-AstraZeneca%20re%20Emergent..pdf dated June 22, addressed to chief executives of J&J and AstraZeneca, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis requested https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/2021-06-22.CBM%20JEC%20to%20Gorsky-Johnson%20%26%20Johnson%20re%20Emergent.pdf for information to explain what went wrong and the actions needed to avoid such mistakes in the future.
The requested information include documents and correspondence, to be submitted by July 6, related to J&J and AstraZeneca's decision to contract Emergent, the total number of vaccine doses that have been discarded by the companies and when they were discarded or destroyed.
The New York Times first reported the House panel requests on Wednesday. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/06/23/world/covid-vaccine-coronavirus-mask#the-inquiry-into-emergent-and-its-troubled-maryland-vaccine-plant-is-extended
J&J and AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment. (Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)