March 02, 2021 – 23:43
President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States is expected to have sufficient supplies of coronavirus vaccines for all adult Americans by the end of May, two months earlier than expected, after his administration announced that drug maker Merck & Co. will help produce the vaccine of rival Johnson & Johnson.
The announcement comes as the White House continues efforts to accelerate vaccine production with a single dose from Johnson & Johnson. President Biden’s administration is also trying to accelerate the country’s plans to achieve “crowd immunity” and restore normalcy after the pandemic.
Speaking from the White House, President Biden said he learned when he took office that Johnson & Johnson was “behind in the production and distribution” of her vaccine and had produced only 3.9 million doses before receiving authorization for the urgent use of her vaccine. on Saturday. The company has promised to produce 100 million doses by the end of June.
President Biden said his team “has worked hard to accelerate this effort.”
Assistance from Merck is expected to help J&J meet its production commitments and expand its supply further, but the administration did not immediately provide further details.
The White House said Merck would offer two of its production plants for the effort. One would produce the vaccine and the other would deal with introducing the vaccine into the vials and ensuring strict quality controls. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President Biden’s administration was using its Defense Production Act powers to help Merck make that change, enabling faster production of the vaccine created by its rival Johnson & Johnson. / voa