Biden to announce deal between Merck, Johnson & Johnson to boost vaccine supplies

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will announce on Tuesday that Merck will help Johnson & Johnson make its COVID-19 vaccine to speed up supply.

“Tune in for the President’s remarks on this — and more — later this afternoon,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain tweeted.

A White House official confirmed the announcement, which was first reported by The Washington Post.

Also on Tuesday, vaccination centers were to start receiving some of the 3.9 million doses of J&J vaccines, which received emergency use authorization on Saturday. But the pharmaceutical company has faced production issues as it works to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June. 

The 20 million J&J doses that the Biden administration has said will be distributed throughout March will be concentrated more toward the latter half of the month.

The deal between Merck and J&J, which was brokered by the Biden administration, could sharply boost supply, according to The Washington Post. 

Merck is not producing its own vaccine.

The two others are made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.

Healthcare professional holding a syringe with a needle and a vaccine vial. (Photo: Getty Images) (Photo: Getty Images)

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