Delivering remarks at the White House on Tuesday, President Biden announced a deal between Johnson & Johnson and Merck to increase supply of a vaccine for coronavirus. Biden also said that there will be enough vaccine supply for every adult in the U.S. by the end of May.
JOE BIDEN: Two of the largest health care and pharmaceutical companies in the world that are usually competitors are working together on the vaccine. Johnson & Johnson and Merck will work together to expand the production of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. This is the type of collaboration between companies we saw in World War II.
We also invoked the Defense Production Act to equip two Merck facilities to the standards necessary to safely manufacture the J&J vaccine. And with the urging and assistance of my administration, Johnson & Johnson is also taking additional new actions to safely accelerate vaccine production. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine manufacturing facilities will now begin to operate 24/7.
In addition, we'll continue to use the Defense Production Act to expedite critical materials in vaccine production, such as equipment, machinery, and supplies. I've also asked the Department of Defense to provide daily logistical support to strengthen Johnson & Johnson's efforts. And I want to thank Johnson & Johnson and Merck for stepping up and being good corporate citizens during this national crisis.
Here's what all this means. We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May. Let me say that again. When we came into office, the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America. We rectified that.
About three weeks ago, we were able to say that we'll have enough vaccine supply for adults by the end of July. And I'm pleased to announce today, as a consequence of the stepped up process that I've ordered and just outlined, this country will have enough vaccine supply-- I'll say it again-- for every adult in America by the end of May. By the end of May. That's progress, important progress.