Biden administration to purchase an extra 100 million doses

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine will be stored in Chicago, Illinois for use with United Airlines employees at the United Clinic at O’Hare International Airport on March 9, 2021.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

The US plans to buy an additional 100 million cans of Johnson & JohnsonCovid-19 vaccine, two government sources told NBC News.

president Joe Biden will announce plans on Wednesday during a White House meeting with executives from J&J and Merck.

J&J currently has a contract with the US government to provide 100 million cans by the end of June. The federal government shipped nearly 3.9 million doses of the single vaccine last week and plans to distribute an additional 16 million by the end of this month.

The announcement comes as administration is working to ramp up production of J & J’s vaccine after learning earlier this year that the company was lagging behind in vaccine production.

The Food and Drug Administration approved J & J’s vaccine on February 27 for use in people 18 years of age and older. not how Pfizerand ModernWith J & J’s vaccines, the patient no longer has to return for a second dose and it can be stored at refrigerator temperature for months.

The New York Times first reported in January These unexpected delays in manufacturing would result in reduced first aid supplies of J & J’s medicines if it were given an emergency approval.

Last week, Biden announced This pharmaceutical company Merck would help manufacture J & J’s Covid vaccine. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will deploy two facilities in the US for J & J’s vaccine. One will make the vaccine and the other will provide “fill-finish” services when the vaccine is put into vials.

The Department of Health and Human Services said the U.S. would provide Merck with $ 105 million under the Defense Production Act to upgrade, upgrade, and equip the company’s facilities to the standards necessary to safely manufacture the vaccine are.

The Chief Medical Officer of the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci said last month he was “disappointed” with the number of doses J&J originally expected, adding that the federal government had assumed there would be “significantly more”.

“It could be June, July and August before everyone is vaccinated,” Fauci told CNN February 16. “So when you hear how long it will take for the vast majority of the population to be vaccinated, no one will agree that it will be good by the end of summer and that we will get to early fall.”