Merck & Co. is teaming up with rival Johnson & Johnson to help manufacture its recently-approved COVID-19 vaccine as the nation seeks to eliminate the virus in part through a mass inoculation effort. Two White House officials confirmed the partnership to Fox News.
Johnson & Johnson previously agreed to supply the U.S. with 100 million doses of its one-shot vaccine by June, but White House officials said the company had struggled with supply and material issues.
Last week, ahead of the FDA’s emergency use authorization, Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 coordinator, had said the Biden administration was working to further “accelerate the pace and timeframe” for which the company delivered the agreed-upon supply after learning that Johnson & Johnson had fallen behind in their production schedule.
President Joe Biden is expected to formally announce the partnership between rivals Merck and Johnson & Johnson later Tuesday.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy contributed to this report.