The Latest on Vaccines

Massive Blunder or “Blip”? 15 million doses of would-be Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines had to be discarded after a Baltimore plant run by Emergent BioSolutions—a company central to Johnson & Johnson’s US production plan—mixed ingredients with those intended for the AstraZeneca jab, The Washington Postreports. Ultimately, though, it’s a “blip,” a former Operation Warp Speed official told Axios

Cases Rising Too Fast, Vaccines Too Slow: The WHO is criticizing the EU’s “unacceptably slow” COVID-19 vaccine rollout, urging the bloc to ramp up manufacturing, reduce barriers to administering vaccines, and use every dose available. Deutsche Welle

War-torn: Yemen has received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines amid a “dramatic influx” of severely ill COVID-19 patients. The country is scheduled to receive 1.9 million doses throughout 2021, UNICEF said. Al Jazeera 

AZ vs. B.1.1.7: AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was found to be 70.4% effective against symptomatic disease caused by the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the UK, according to new data published in The Lancet. CIDRAP

Modernizing Moderna: NIH has begun a clinical trial of a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine against the B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 variant first identified in South Africa; the mutation has now been found in at least 9 US states. National Institutes of Health (news release)

India Under Pressure: The global hub of vaccine production is massively scaling up its COVID-19 vaccination drive, but pressures at home have triggered shipment delays of some 90 million COVAX doses; India has exported more vaccines than it has administered to its own population. AP

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