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Man arrested over suspicious package sent to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine plant

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Police in southeast England have charged a 53-year-old man with sending a suspicious package to a coronavirus vaccine production site in north Wales earlier this week.

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A spokesman for Kent Police said Saturday that Anthony Collins has been charged with dispatching an article by post “with the intention of inducing the belief it is likely to explode or ignite.”

Collins is set to appear before a court around 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of London.

The arrest had taken place on Thursday, a day after all staff had to be evacuated from a site in Wrexham as the package was investigated. The UK arm of Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company Wockhardt is producing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the site.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense sent an ordnance disposal team to assist authorities at the plant. The device was deemed as not being viable.

Wockhardt UK had struck an agreement with the British government, which reserved a production line at the Welsh plant to guarantee the supply of the vaccines.

Last week, emergency teams had also been deployed to protect supplies of the vaccine following flooding at the Wrexham industrial area. Wockhardt said at the time that all precautions were taken to prevent a disruption in manufacturing.

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