The plant in Baltimore is one of two organized sites that should have been prepared for vaccines or therapeutic manufacturing in a public health emergency. In June 2020, the Trump administration awarded Amergent a $ 628 million contract, much of which reserved space in Baltimore for the production of vaccines for coronovirus.
In Washington, Emergent is known for Aggressive lobbying and government connections Both Democratic and Republican administrations spread. The company’s board is stacked with former federal officials, and the ranks of lobbyists include former members of Congress.
“We’ve been at it for 22 years as a company,” Mr. Kramer said on the call on Thursday, noting that the biomedical advanced research and development agency, known as BARDA, along with government agencies Issued $ 628 million. Contract, “Remain intact and strong.”
In June 2020, the Trump administration shortly awarded the contract to Emergant, a top official at Operation Warp Speed, the government’s fast-track vaccine initiative warned that the company lacked sufficiently trained staff and had problems with quality control Was a record of
A copy of the officer’s assessment, Received by the Times, Cited a “major risk” in relying on Amergent to handle the production of vaccines developed by both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca at the same plant in Baltimore.
Cross-contamination is a “well-known risk” when two vaccines are made using live viruses, Mr. Kramer said Thursday, but the decision to produce both in Baltimore was the government’s decision. There were layers of security measures in place, he said, although Emergent believes they “did not work as anticipated” and that the AstraZeneca virus probably contaminated the Johnson & Johnson batch.
“It is easy to go back to these decisions and predict the epidemic in the early stages,” he said. “” At the time, nobody knew how fast we could move into a medically viable vaccine, and which candidates would be the most successful. “