Merck will reportedly help produce Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine shots after failing to make its own

  • Merck will reportedly dedicate two facilities to make Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Washington Post reported that Joe Biden would announce a partnership between the pharma giants.
  • Merck’s resources could double the amount of vaccine that Johnson & Johnson could make on its own.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Two of the largest US pharmaceutical companies are said to be partnering to speed up COVID-19 vaccine production.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday will announce a partnership between Merck and Johnson & Johnson, senior administration officials told The Washington Post.

Merck will dedicate two US facilities to make doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, the officials said. Merck’s resources could double the amount of vaccine that Johnson & Johnson can make on its own, according to the report.

Merck scrapped two coronavirus vaccine candidates in January after the shots failed to produce an adequate immune responses in early trials. The pharma company produces vaccines for the Ebola virus, HPV, and the hepatitis B virus.

“Merck remains steadfast in our commitment to contribute to the global response to the pandemic and to preparing to address future pandemics,” Merck told Insider in a statement.

The pharma giant could need months to get the facilities ready to produce Johnson & Johnson vaccines, The Post reported.

The US Food and Drug Administration over the weekend authorized Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Late-stage trial data found the single-dose shot was 66% effective at preventing coronavirus infections and 85% effective at preventing severe COVID-19 cases after four weeks.

The Biden administration said that healthcare providers would begin receiving Johnson & Johnson shots Tuesday and that it expected 16 million doses to be available by the end of March.

The US had administered nearly 77 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as of Monday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden has aggressively increased vaccine supply since taking office. The president bought 200 million additional shots from Pfizer and Moderna and released all available doses to states instead of reserving half to guarantee second shots.

With the new Johnson & Johnson shot, the US could have enough doses to vaccinate its entire population by the end of the summer.

Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.

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