U.K. Plant Producing AstraZeneca Vaccines Partially Evacuated Over Suspect Package

LONDON  (Reuters) -
The Wockhardt pharmaceutical plant is reflected in a puddle in Wrexham, Britain. (Reuters/Phil Noble)

A plant in Wales that produces AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has been partially evacuated after a suspicious package was received, the company that operates it said on Wednesday.

“Wockhardt U.K. 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 in 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.”

Earlier, the BBC reported that a police bomb disposal unit had been sent to the plant.

“We are currently dealing with an ongoing incident on the Wrexham Industrial Estate,” local police said in a statement, adding that the public should avoid the area.

Wockhardt U.K. provides fill-and-finish capacity for AstraZeneca’s U.K. 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, developed by Oxford University.