News World UK AstraZeneca vaccine plant partially evacuated over suspect package

UK AstraZeneca vaccine plant partially evacuated over suspect package

A factory in Wales that produces AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was partially evacuated on Wednesday after it received a suspicious package and police said a bomb disposal unit was dealing with the incident.

Operated by Wockhardt UK, the plant provides so-called fill-and-finish capacity for AstraZeneca’s UK supply chain, which is the final manufacturing step of putting vaccines into vials or syringes and packaging them.

AstraZeneca has agreed to supply Britain with 100 million doses of the vaccine it developed with Oxford University.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his office was being kept up to date on developments in Wales.

AstraZeneca is also currently in a dispute with the European Union after it cut vaccine supplies to the bloc due to production issues at its Belgian factory.

“Wockhardt UK in Wrexham this morning received a suspicious package to site. All relevant authorities were immediately notified and engaged,” the company said, referring to its facility outside the town of Wrexham in north Wales.

“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,” it said.

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