New Jersey to receive 70,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
Two of New Jersey’s biggest pharmaceutical companies have joined forces in the fight against COVID-19.
The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that Johnson & Johnson and Merck are teaming up. The two companies are normally competitors. The announcement comes on the eve of New Jersey receiving 70,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s new COVID-19 vaccine.
It is not currently known which vaccine sites in New Jersey will be getting the new supply. But the company’s single-dose vaccine is expected to allow more New Jersey residents to be vaccinated against the virus.
Merck initially abandoned its own COVID-19 vaccine plans. It will now produce Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. President Joe Biden touted the partnership, which he says was brokered by his administration.
Biden enacted the Defense Production Act to equip Merck facilities to safely manufacture the vaccine. Johnson & Johnson is expected to increase its own production.
“J&J manufacturing facilities will now begin to operate 24-7, and will use the Defense Production Act to expedite critical materials in vaccine production, such as equipment, machinery and supplies,” Biden said.
Johnson & Johnson did not comment on the endeavor. Merck released a statement saying in part, "Merck remains steadfast in our commitment to contribute to the global response to the pandemic and to preparing to address future pandemics."
Biden says that the partnership puts the United States on track to have enough vaccines for every adult American by the end of May.