After stopping the production of its COVID-19 vaccine at an Emergent Biosolutions facility in Baltimore, AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) is in negotiations with Catalent (NYSE:CTLT) to shift production to one of its plants in nearby Harmans, Md.
FDA has yet to authorize the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, although it has won full approval in Australia and Brazil and has received emergency use authorization (EUA) in 168 other countries.
As a majority of U.S. citizens have already received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, officials at AstraZeneca are reportedly mulling the option of pursuing full approval of its vaccine instead of EUA, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. government required Emergent Biosolutions to halt production of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a production error forced Emergent to discard 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. Emergent intended to produce AstraZeneca’s and Johnson & Johnson’s adenovirus-vectored vaccines in the same facility.
“We can confirm we are working with Catalent but have not disclosed specific details on supply,” Holly Campbell, an AstraZeneca spokeswoman, told The New York Times.
It is unclear what kind of role the AstraZeneca vaccine would play in the United States. At present, two-thirds of Americans have a clear preference for the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, according to a recent survey. Only 9% prefer the single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), which is broadly similar to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The latter vaccine, however, requires two doses.
Researchers have linked both the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to extremely rare blood clots.