Production of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was suspended after a suspicious package was sent to one of its largest plants
- A plant producing Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines was forced to halt production after receiving a suspicious package.
- The Wockhardt UK plant in Wales, which is producing 100 million doses of the vaccine, evacuated its employees.
- A police bomb-disposal squad attended the incident.
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Production of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was suspended after one of its largest plants received a “suspicious package” and had to evacuate workers.
The Wockhardt UK plant in Wrexham, Wales, received the package shortly before 10:40 a.m. local time on Wednesday, North Wales Police said in a statement sent to Insider.
Local police and a bomb-disposal unit attended the scene, the force added.
The plant evacuated its employees in response, with Wockhardt UK saying in a statement: “Upon expert advice we have partially evacuated the site pending a full investigation. The safety of our employees and business continuity remain of paramount importance.”https://7d05f5e3cf139ab6bc6e78e3d9d07074.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
A Wockhardt UK spokesman told Insider that production had been halted due to employees being off site, but said the plant is still on track to meet its production target per its contract with the UK government.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1354446865098547201&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Foxford-astrazeneca-vaccine-production-halted-suspicious-package-wrexham-plant-2021-1&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px
The contents and source of the package remain unknown, and authorities are still investigating, the spokesman and the police said.
No injuries have been reported, and the police said there are “no wider concerns for public safety,” though some areas of the industrial site are to remain closed.
Wockhardt UK was tasked by the government to make 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, per the company’s spokesman. The agreement was struck in August 2020 and due to run for 18 months.https://7d05f5e3cf139ab6bc6e78e3d9d07074.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
The plant has been charged with carrying out the “fill and finish” stage of the manufacturing process, dispensing the vaccine into vials ready for distribution, per a government statement.
A company press release announcing the partnership said the company has long been one of the National Health Service’s largest suppliers, and that it employs more than 400 people at its 612,000-square-foot Wrexham plant.