US will share COVID-19 vaccine if it has surplus: Joe Biden

Tanya Simon
March 12, 2021

US President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that his administration will order another 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. Our new collaboration with Merck will allow us to be even more ambitious in our goals of keeping as many people around the world as safe as we possibly can'. There's always a chance that we'll encounter unexpected challenges or we'll - there'll be a new need for a vaccine effort - a vaccination effort.

"So we are going to start off making sure Americans are taken care of first but we are then going to try to help the rest of the world", Biden said in response to a question.

PHOTO: Ken Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., speaks during an event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, March 10, 2021.

"There is light at the end of this dark tunnel", Mr. Biden said. Biden thanked both companies for "putting patriotism and public health first".

It's not just Johnson and Johnson and Merck, Pfizer and Moderna also work closely with the administration to help speed up the delivery of millions more doses, he said.

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In the US, 93.7 million doses have been administered, with the number of Americans receiving at least one dose of this vaccine recently overtaking the cumulative total of positive cases last month. "Together, we are going to get through this pandemic and usher in a healthier and more hopeful future", Biden said.

The recent federal authorization of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine for emergency use is expected to further speed up vaccinations in the USA, and Mr. Biden announced this month the nation will have enough vaccines to cover all adults by the end of May.

In January 2020, as soon as the novel coronavirus began to spread, Johnson & Johnson collaborated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, to design a large number of potential candidates for an investigational COVID-19 vaccine.

"If we have a surplus, we're going to share it with the rest of the world", Biden said, adding that the United States had already committed to providing $4 billion to the COVAX global initiative to distribute vaccines in developing countries.

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