President Biden to Announce Purchase of Additional 100 Million Doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine

These additional doses will be delivered in the second half of the year, a senior administration official said

johnson & johnson covid vaccine
Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty

President Joe Biden will announce plans Wednesday to purchase an additional 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, according to multiple reports.

He is expected to share the news during a White House meeting with executives from Johnson & Johnson and Merck, whose partnership was announced last week as a way to speed up vaccine production, according to The Washington Post.

These additional doses will be delivered in the second half of the year, a senior administration official told the Post.

Johnson & Johnson already has a deal with the United States to provide 100 million doses by the end of June. Last week, nearly 4 million doses of the vaccine were shipped out to vaccination sites across the United States.

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The vaccine from Johnson & Johnson is the third one approved to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, following the authorization of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. It is the first that requires only one shot and can remain stable in a refrigerator for several months.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 27. The following day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend the vaccine to adults 18 years and older in the U.S.

Covid-19 Vaccine Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. EMMANUEL CROSET/AFP via Getty Images

According to NBC News, the United States already has enough vaccine supply for every adult without the additional Johnson & Johnson doses, as the government made a deal with Pfizer and Moderna for 200 million more doses by the end of July. These additional Johnson & Johnson doses could be used as a backup if Pfizer or Moderna run into production issues.

Earlier this month, Biden announced that the nation will have enough vaccine supply for every American adult by the end of May. During a briefing on the administration's COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Biden said that the nation has made "important progress" on vaccine distribution.

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However, that this does not mean that all American adults will actually receive a shot by the end of May. It will likely take extra time to distribute and administer the shots. Currently, there are about 2 million doses of the three coronavirus vaccines being administered each day, according to The New York Times.

Though the president said the nation is "moving in the right direction," he urged the public to continue to be vigilant about COVID-19 safety precautions.

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