Emergent BioSolutions, a company that has never developed a product, but is famous for several very public vaccine fails and a defective nerve gas autoinjector, always gets the sweetheart deal. The US Government gave the company $628 million last year to retool their Baltimore factory (purchased in 2012 with federal funding) and shoehorned Janssen/ J and J, Novavax and Astra-Zeneca to use Emergent to do the manufacturing of the Covid vaccines they had developed.
Emergent BioSolutions (EBS) made thousands of soldiers chronically ill with its anthrax vaccines. Congress held a series of hearings and published a book about it, titled “Unproven Force Protection.” In its 22 years of operation, EBS went from an $18 million company to a $5-7 Billion dollar company. Its business model is to produce sole source, no bid products for the US biodefense stockpile. Most of the products are never used, and must be discarded after expiration. Which allows the company to restock the US government’s supply every few years, guaranteeing a very reliable income.
Today, the entire mainstream media seems to have been ordered not to use the name Emergent BioSolutions when reporting this story–about how the company just got its manufacturing plant for the Janssen vaccine okayed by FDA, so EBS can finally ship the Covid vaccine for US distribution. Pay attention to the weasel wording in Reuter’s story. Instead of being called “Emergent BioSolutions’ factory,” it is called “a large plant” and its location is unspecified.
Last month the Janssen vaccine made in Belgium was authorized by FDA, but the EBS version of the vaccine did not pass FDA’s muster. But today, after promising 20 million vaccine doses by the end of March, it looks like Emergent and Janssen (a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson) will make good on their promise.
What this means for the American public is that from now on, everyone who gets the Janssen “one and done”shot will actually be getting a dose made by Emergent BioSolutions in Baltimore.
Why is that a problem? Ignoring the issues associated with the design of the adenovirus-vector DNA vaccine, the company doing the manufacturing has an unscrupulous past. It was perfectly happy to make huge profits shipping out vaccines for soldiers that had visible mold and bacterial growth, as well as stopper material, in the vials. It was happy to supply FDA with doctored data. And in order to do the highly remunerative deals with the USG for Covid vaccines, Emergent rehired its old President (Bob Kramer) and retained its Founder/Chairman of the Board (Fuad el-Hibri) : both of whom led the company during the bad old anthrax vaccine days.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A large plant being used to manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine was cleared by U.S. regulators on Tuesday, setting the stage for the weekly U.S. supply to surge more then 20 percent.
About 27 million COVID-19 vaccine doses will be allocated to U.S. states and other localities this week, including 4 million from J&J, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. That is the largest allocation yet, up from 22 million last week.
Earlier, the Indiana plant at which Catalent Inc is helping to manufacture the J&J vaccine received U.S. regulatory authorization, the companies said.
J&J’s shipments had slowed considerably since the first week of the month, but the new authorization will enable it to ship out millions of doses.
J&J tapped contract manufacturers Catalent and Emergent BioSolutions Inc to scale up production and meet its global supply targets. Catalent provides the final stage – called fill and finish – while Emergent makes the drug substance.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the one-shot J&J vaccine in February, but only for its production facility in the Netherlands and a small fill-and-finish plant in the United States.
Based on that authorization, the company shipped nearly 4 million doses in the beginning of March. Shipments dropped sharply since then as J&J awaited the additional authorizations.
The company had previously promised to deliver 20 million vaccine doses by the end of March.
As of Tuesday morning, 82.7 million people in the United States had received at least one vaccine dose, around a quarter of the population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.