Biden announces the US will have enough vaccines for ‘every adult in America’ by the end of May

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with labor leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Washington
  • President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that the US will have enough vaccine doses for every American adult by the end of May. 
  • Biden announced that two major pharmaceutical companies will work together to "expand the production" of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
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President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that the US will have enough vaccine doses for "every adult in America" by the end of May, speeding up the estimated timeline to reach this threshold by about one month. 

This comes after the US Food and Drug Administration authorized Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use over the weekend. Biden announced that Merck will work with Johnson & Johnson to manufacture the new vaccine.

"Today, we're announcing a major step forward," Biden said in an address from the White House on Tuesday afternoon. "Two of the largest healthcare 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."

He added, "This country will have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May." 

The president said he hopes that "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. While both the Pfizer and and Moderna vaccines require two shots several weeks apart, the J&J vaccine involves just a single shot. 


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