WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will announce plans Wednesday to purchase an additional 100 million doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, giving the U.S. more than enough supply to vaccinate the entire U.S. population.
Biden will announce that he is directing his Health and Human Services team to procure the additional doses during a meeting today with executives from J&J and Merck, according to two administration officials.
Biden said earlier this month that the U.S. was on track to have enough vaccine doses for every adult in the country to get vaccinated by the end of May after the Food and Drug Administration gave clearance for use of the J &J vaccine.
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The U.S. had already secured deals for enough vaccine doses for every adult even without the addition of the J & J vaccine as of last month when the U.S. finalized a deal with Pfizer and Moderna for 200 million more coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of July. But having the agreement in place with J&J for an additional 100 million doses could help serve as a backstop should Pfizer or Moderna run into manufacturing issues.
The White House announced earlier this month that Johnson & Johnson would be working with rival drugmaker Merck & Co. to accelerate production of its single-dose vaccine.
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