WASHINGTON – President Biden said Tuesday that the United States is “on track” to “have enough coronavirus vaccines for adults” in late May, accelerating its efforts to save the country from a century of the worst public health crisis.
Speaking briefly at the White House, Biden said his administration had supported Johnson & Johnson, which would allow the company and its partners to be vaccinated around the clock. The administration also brokered a deal that would allow pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. to produce new Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines.
Merck is the second largest vaccine manufacturer in the world, although his own experience with the coronavirus vaccine has been unsuccessful. Officials have described the co-operation between the two rivals as historic, saying it raises Biden’s vision for fighting the coronavirus in wartime, which is similar to production campaigns when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.
“As a result of the newly expanded process I ordered, this country will have a sufficient supply of vaccines – again, for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden said. “At the end of May. It’s progress – it’s progress. ”
He said he wanted all teachers to be vaccinated by the end of this month.
The president’s timetable, if successful, shines brightly at the end of a long, dark tunnel, although he acknowledged that the nation remains in dire straits. The announcement came on Tuesday after the Food and Drug Administration gave Johnson & Johnson urgent authorization for the vaccine, which, unlike the other two products, requires only one dose.
Public health officials fear a fourth wave of the coronavirus epidemic, prompting troubling new options as states like Texas and Mississippi rush to reopen. Although the daily workload has plummeted since January, the decline seems to be equalizing, բարձր top federal health officials warned governors last week against limiting coronavirus depletion.
“We can not disappoint now or assure that victory is inevitable,” Biden said. “We can not assume that.”
Earlier, he said that by the end of July, there would be enough coronavirus vaccines for every American. Although the president’s remarks on Tuesday set a new benchmark against which he will be measured, his predecessor administration has already laid the groundwork for the 260 million adults eligible for coverage by the end of May.
Two other vaccine manufacturers, Moderna և Pfizer BioNTech, last month pledged enough to provide 200 million Americans by that date. Son Onson Onson’s $ 1 billion deal, negotiated last year during Donald Trump’s presidency, calls for the company to deliver enough quotas for the 87 million Americans by the end of May, which would give the country enough vaccine for adults over 18.
But Johnson & Johnson և its partners have lagged behind in their production. The company was due to deliver its first 37 million shares by the end of March, but he said it would be able to deliver only 20 million shares by that date, which angered Biden aides.
In late January, IDF Ziens, Biden Coronavirus Response Coordinator Դ Dr. David Kessler, who oversees the distribution of vaccines in the White House, addressed senior company officials, including its CEO, Alex Gorsky, in a blunt message. is unacceptable.
This led to a series of negotiations in February, when administration officials repeatedly pressured Johnson & Johnson to acknowledge their need for assistance, while urging Merck to be part of the solution, according to two administration officials involved in the discussions.
In a statement on Tuesday, Merck said the federal government would pay up to $ 269 million to make it available for coronavirus vaccines. Merkum Executive Vice President for Human Health Michael Nalli said in an interview that the company has been in talks with a number of companies and governments, including officials in the former Trump administration.
“I think we all realize that every day counts,” he said.
Nali declined to estimate how many vaccines the company could produce, saying only that it would be “substantial”. Merck’s expanded supply, though, will likely not be available for months.
A federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity said other steps taken by the administration would raise Johnson & Johnson’s production schedule.
The steps, White House spokesman En Psaki said, included providing a team of experts to oversee production and logistical support from the Department of Defense. In addition, the president will apply the Defense Production Act, a Korean-era wartime law, to give John Onson և John Onson access to vaccine supplies and packaging.
Biden said he would also invoke the law to help Merck equip one of the two plants to be used in manufacturing.
Vaccine production is an infamous, unpredictable process, especially in the early stages. Merck has been developing vaccines for 11 of the 17 diseases on the federal government’s vaccine list, including measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox.
“The only party that really understood vaccine production was its star record, now it has to be brought in to produce someone else’s vaccine,” said Steve Brozak, WBB Securities և CEO հիվանդ Diseases
Trump և Biden’s executives have learned that Merck is asking for help in developing vaccines developed by other companies. Federal officials said talks about a possible partnership between Merck and Johnson & Johnson had been going on for months. But Psaki said Biden’s White House deserves credit for reaching the deal “beyond the finish line.”
The agreement is not without precedent. Late last month, Johnson & Johnson struck a deal with French manufacturer Sanofi, which is also developing a coronavirus vaccine to help supplement and package Johnson & Johnson vaccines in Europe. Sanofi և Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has also partnered with Pfizer to help develop its vaccines in Europe.
“This is a kind of partnership between the companies we saw in World War II,” Biden told the White House. He thanked Merck, Johnson & Johnson for “being active during this crisis, being good corporate citizens.”
Under the agreement, Merck will dedicate both of its facilities to the production of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
One will provide the “fill-in”, the final stage of the production process, during which the vaccine is put in vials and packaged for delivery. The other will make the “medicine” – the vaccine itself.
Biden has already pledged to buy a total of 600 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech և Moderna vaccines, which is enough for every American, he said, which will be available in late July.
If John Onson և John Onson’s shipments arrive later, and the United States is in surplus, the administration may sell or donate shares to other countries where supplies are scarce. This would be in line with Biden’s public commitment to the United States taking a stronger lead in the fight against the epidemic.
But delivering the vaccines too soon, before all Americans have a chance, carries significant political risks. Psaki said the current president’s priority is to vaccinate all Americans.
After that he said. “Of course we want the world community to be vaccinated. It makes us safer than anyone else. ”
The nation’s vaccination efforts are steadily accelerating. As of Tuesday, some 51.7 million people had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, including about 26.1 million people, about 8% of Americans 18 years of age or older who had been fully vaccinated under Disease Control and Prevention. of the center. ,
Both Pfizer և Moderna vaccines require more stringent storage conditions than Johnson & Johnson, which can also be stored at room temperature for up to three months, facilitating distribution and easier storage in pharmacies and clinics. At $ 10 a dose, it’s cheaper than the other two.
This week, the states will receive 9 onsons, 3.9 million doses of John onsons produced at the Dutch plant, bottled in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Johnson & Johnson is expected to mass-produce the vaccine at a new Baltimore plant run by a company called Emergent BioSolutions. The pharmaceutical company Catalent will bottle the doses in Indiana.
The FDA permit for emergency use issued late Saturday night covered Dutch production lines և Grand Rapids bottling operation. Federal regulators are expected to decide in about two weeks to change the permit to include plants in Baltimore և Indiana, according to John Onson’s two people familiar with Onson’s actions, who were not allowed to speak publicly.
At least before that, they said supply would be unequal և limited.
If all expected doses are exceeded, the United States may have a full range of vaccines by summer. Over the next few weeks, Moderna is expected to make a formal offer to the FDA to put 50% more vaccine in every 50 vials, a simple, relatively quick way to boost supply. In backstage discussions with the company, the FDA recommended raising it to 40%.
On the other hand, the needs of the nation could increase. The emergence of alarming versions of the virus may require enhanced staff for those who have already been vaccinated. And federal health officials hope that ongoing testing will show that vaccines are safe for children, which means tens of millions more shots are needed.
No matter how the additional supply of vaccines is used, the long-term reduction in production is a smart move, Brozak said. “This is going to be a long, rough war,” he said. “You have to be ready not only for the next repetition, but for the next repetition.”