Effective immediately, Canada is pausing distribution of the recent shipment of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
Here is the statement Health Canada released around 6pm on a Friday about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Officials and Ministers have been asked about issues around Emergent Biosolutions and connections to J&J many times, including this week #cdnpoli https://t.co/ChamncF9AT pic.twitter.com/6OO4B52RBl
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) April 30, 2021
The recent shipment of the one-dose COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson won’t be used, as Health Canada has learned these doses were partially processed in the Baltimore plant that ruined 15 million doses at the beginning of April.
That plant was forced to close, while the United States Food and Drug Administration investigates.
In a statement, Health Canada says those doses will only be released when “once Health Canada is satisfied that they meet the Department’s high standards for quality, safety and efficacy.” Health Canada is currently working with the FDA and Janssen to check these vaccines.
A spokesperson for Health Minister Patty Hajdu says “the government was made aware of this information today – the same day Health Canada decided to communicate it with Canadians.”
The office of Procurement Minister Anita Anand released a statement, which says “an initial shipment of approximately 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine landed in Canada on Wednesday, April 28. As Health Canada’s review of these vaccines is ongoing, and it works with the supplier to obtain all of the needed information, the government awaits further information prior to their release.”
A Conservative Member of Parliament from Alberta is calling out the Liberal government for the delay on pausing the distribution.
It’s inexcusable that this was released on a Friday afternoon mere hours after the Health Minister was at committee. Why was this communicated at the eleventh hour before shots went into arms? We knew these vaccines were coming for weeks. Major screw up with huge implications. https://t.co/BoSSIGAyha
— Michelle Rempel Garner (@MichelleRempel) April 30, 2021
MP Michelle Rempel Garner, of Calgary Nose Hill, says the federal government should’ve released this information earlier “before shots went into arms.”