AstraZeneca Factory Tackles Flooding in Latest Vaccine Challenge

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A vaccine factory in Wales producing a Covid-19 shot from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford faced flood threats overnight in the latest challenge to the U.K.’s ambitious rollout plan.

Wockhardt, a facility in Wrexham, sought support from the local council Wednesday evening over fears production could be affected as Storm Christoph raged and forced people from their homes. There was no disruption to the plant and no emergency services were called, according to a spokeswoman for the factory.

The factory, where the vaccine undergoes the final steps in the manufacturing process, experienced mild flooding, with water surrounding part of the buildings, the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. All necessary precautions were taken, and the site is now operating as normal.

The flooding presents another hurdle as the government seeks to immunize 15 million people by mid-February. The Astra-Oxford vaccine is key to that effort, with plans to make 2 million shots available weekly as part of a pledge to produce 100 million doses for the U.K. this year.

A spokesman for Astra declined to comment beyond the Wockhardt statement.

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