Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine is stored for use with United Airlines employees at United’s onsite clinic at O’Hare International Airport on March 09, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson | Getty Images
The U.S. plans to buy 100 million additional doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine, two administration sources told NBC News.
President Joe Biden will announce the plans Wednesday during a White House meeting with executives from J&J and Merck.
J&J currently has a deal with the U.S. government to provide 100 million doses by the end of June. The federal government shipped out nearly 3.9 million doses of the single-shot vaccine last week and says it plans to distribute 16 million more by the end of this month.
The announcement comes as the administration works to ramp up the production of J&J’s vaccine after it learned earlier in the year that the company had fallen behind in vaccine production.
The New York Times first reported in January that unexpected manufacturing delays would lead to a reduced initial supply of J&J’s drug if it were given emergency authorization.
Last week, Biden announced that pharmaceutical giant Merck would help make J&J’s Covid vaccine. Under the arrangement, Merck will dedicate two facilities in the U.S. to J&J’s vaccine. One will make the vaccine and the other will provide “fill-finish” services, when the vaccine is placed in vials.
White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said last month he was “disappointed” with the number of doses initially expected from J&J, adding the federal government thought there would be “considerably more.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.