President Joe Biden says Merck will help make rival Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine, helping boost supply so that the U.S. is on track to have enough vaccine for all adult Americans by the end of May, two months earlier than expected. (March 2)
JOE BIDEN: Today we're announcing a major step forward. 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.
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.
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.