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 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, two government sources told NBC News.
President Joe Biden will announce the plans on Wednesday during a White House meeting with J&J and Merck executives.
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.
In a statement, J&J noted that the government’s initial agreement for $ 1 billion worth of 100 million cans in August gave the government the opportunity to purchase additional cans under a later agreement.
“We look forward to future talks with the US government and attending the White House event later today,” the company said in a statement.
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. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, patients with the single dose of J&J do not need to take a second dose and can be stored at refrigerator temperature for months.
The New York Times first reported in January that unexpected delays in manufacturing would result in decreased primary care of J & J’s medication if it were given emergency approval.
Last week, Biden announced that 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 can take June, July and August to get everyone vaccinated,” Fauci told CNN on February 16. I don’t think anyone will disagree that this will be good by the end of summer and we’ll get into early fall. “