Bomb disposal team called to UK vaccine plant

By: AFP      Published: 10:47 PM, 27 Jan, 2021
Bomb disposal team called to UK vaccine plant

A military bomb disposal team was called to a Covid-19 vaccination production site in Wales on Wednesday, because of a suspicious package.

Production was halted and staff were evacuated from the Wockhardt site in Wrexham, north Wales, following the discovery.

The pharmaceutical and biotech company said later that the package was made safe and employees were allowed back into the building.

No further details were given about the nature of the package.

"This temporary suspension of manufacturing has in no way affected our production schedule and we are grateful to the authorities and experts for their swift response and resolution of the incident," a spokeswoman said.

The Wockhardt plant employs some 400 people. The Ministry of Defence said an explosive disposal unit was called out just after 1130 GMT to assist at the scene.

North Wales Police closed roads in and around the site during the operation.

Wockhardt provides the final stage of services in preparing the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the British drugs group AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the manufacturing facility in north Wales in November, posing for photographs with vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured there, shortly before it received regulatory approval in the UK.

Last week, emergency teams were called out to protect vaccines supplies following flooding in the area.