Biden says the US will have enough vaccines for 'every adult in America' by the end of May
- President Joe Biden says the US will have enough vaccine doses for every US adult by the end of May.
- On Tuesday he announced a partnership between the pharma giants Johnson & Johnson and Merck.
- He said the two companies would collaborate to "expand the production" of J&J's coronavirus vaccine.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the US would have enough doses of coronavirus vaccines for "every adult in America" by the end of May. The news is a major development in the COVID-19 pandemic and speeds up the estimated timeline to reach this threshold by about a month.Biden said during a White House address that the pharmaceutical giant Merck would work with Johnson & Johnson, a major competitor, to manufacture J&J's new vaccine and produce 100 million doses of it by the end of May. The US Food and Drug Administration authorized J&J's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use over the weekend.
Biden said that to speed up vaccine distribution his administration had brought back retired healthcare workers, deployed more than 1,500 federal medical personnel, and set up rural and mobile vaccination centers.The president also recommended that states prioritize vaccine distribution to teachers and school staff members and said he'd like to see all educators receive a first vaccine dose by the end of March. Biden added that he hoped "by this time next year, we're going to be back to normal." But he called on Americans to "continue to be smart" about following COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.As of Monday, the US had administered almost 77 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The US is expecting 600 million doses of those two vaccines to be administered over the next four months.
While both of those vaccines require two shots several weeks apart, the J&J vaccine involves just a single shot, is cheaper to administer, and may perform better against coronavirus variants.
—NBC News (@NBCNews) March 2, 2021
"It's nice to have a single-dose vaccine," Eric Rubin, an FDA committee member who is the editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, said Friday after the agency voted to authorize the J&J vaccine for emergency use. "The demand is so large that it clearly has a place."
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