The Merck Co and Johnson & Johnson are rival pharmaceutical companies in the space of vaccine production, among other things, but they're going to work together under a deal brokered by the Biden administration.
President Biden is expected to publicly announce a deal today that will see Merck produce Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine for them to increase supply.
The announcement comes as the White House looks to speed the production of the single-dose vaccine. Officials have said J&J faced unexpected production issues with its vaccine and produced only 3.9 million doses ahead of its receiving emergency use authorization on Saturday. The company says it is on pace to deliver 100 million doses by the end of June.
Facing questions about the company’s slipping delivery schedule, J&J Vice President Richard Nettles told lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week that the company had faced “significant challenges” because of its “highly complex” manufacturing process.
If Merck and Johnson can meet the target of 100 million doses by June, that will afford the United States public about 600 million doses combined alongside vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.
You know, it sure would be nice to vaccinate most of the country before the July 4th holiday. It will probably take longer than that to actually jab 300 million arms, but the summer can't get here soon enough for me and not just because I'm tired of freezing every day and I want to wear crop tops.
I'm sure everyone reading this can think of things they want to do after we're all vaccinated.