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To Reopen Soon

The US Food and Drug Administration and Johnson & Johnson are expected to announce that contamination issues at a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine production facility have been addressed, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In April, the New York Times reported that about 15 million vaccine doses manufactured at an Emergent BioSolutions facility had to be destroyed due to contamination, and the Journal additionally reported at the time that an FDA inspection found problems with maintaining sanitary conditions and preventing cross-contamination, including between the different vaccines being manufactured.

In front of a House committee last week, the Journal says Emergent chief executive Robert Kramer attributed the problems in part to the need to quickly produce two vaccines, as "ramping up production of two novel vaccines on a very large scale in the same facility is unprecedented." The facility is no longer producing AstraZeneca's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, the Times noted last month.

The Journal now reports that Emergent has been working to solve the problems with the FDA and J&J in order to reopen the facility. It adds that the emergency use authorization for the plant to produce J&J's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine could be obtained next week.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.