Canada receives J&J's COVID-19 vaccine from plant where FDA halted production

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FILE PHOTO: Vials labeled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and syringe are seen in front of displayed J&J logo in this illustration

(Reuters) -Canada's drug regulator said on Friday that doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine recently delivered to the country were produced at a Baltimore plant where the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) halted production.

Health Canada said in a statement that it will hold the vaccine doses until it is satisfied they meet its standards, and is consulting with J&J and the FDA. The first shipment of 300,000 J&J vaccine doses arrived in Canada earlier this week.

The FDA halted production of the vaccines at a U.S. manufacturing plant owned by Emergent BioSolutions earlier this month as it investigates an error that led to millions of doses being ruined in March.

Late on Friday, Health Canada said it had learned that the active ingredient in the vaccine had been made at the Emergent site, and the final vaccines were manufactured at a different site outside the United States.

J&J was not available for immediate comment.

Many COVID-19 vaccines are made at one site and packaged into vials at another site.

(Reporting by Trisha Roy in Bengaluru and Allison Martell ; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Cynthia Osterman)