Lawmakers have been pushing citizens to take the vaccine and passing restrictions on those who fail to vaccinate, such as vaccine passports. All this in the midst of evident discrepancies in the manufacturing of these jabs.
Recently, several reports have emerged such as that of The World Health Organization which has said it has concerns about the methods used at one plant producing the Sputnik V vaccine, as Slovakia announced it would sell or donate 160,000 of the 200,000 doses it has ordered of the Russian shot.
The WHO, which along with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is reviewing Sputnik V for eventual approval, said in a report on Wednesday it had issues with the integrity of quality control data and test results at one of the four production sites it had seen.
The WHO review also identified concerns with cross-contamination and sterility, as well as with tracing and identifying batches of vaccines, at the Pharmstandard-UfaVITA plant in Bashkortostan, Russia, which fills vials with vaccine made elsewhere.
The company said in a statement that it had taken steps to address the issues. Now irrespective of all these challenges, last week, the Moscow city authorities gave employers in public services a month to ensure that 60% of their staff had been vaccinated or face a fine, while unvaccinated people are to be refused non-emergency hospital treatment and bar service.
In a related incident, Lawmakers are expanding their probe of the troubled Emergent BioSolutions vaccine plant in Baltimore and are now focusing attention on manufacturing contracts with AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
Democratic leaders on two House panels in letters dated Tuesday asked the CEOs of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson to produce all communications related to efforts to supervise manufacturing, quality or compliance of their vaccines at the Emergent plant.
The lawmakers also asked the companies to produce all records related to their decisions to hire Emergent as a subcontractor, as well as the specific numbers of doses that have either been destroyed, delayed or shipped.
The congressional investigation has already shown that the company received numerous warnings about its potential manufacturing problems but did not take action.