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White House Backs Merck-J&J Vaccine Manufacturing Collaboration

The Biden administration is supporting collaboration between Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Merck (NYSE: MRK) to produce more COVID-19 vaccine doses through the Defense Production Act.

At the White House’s request, the Department of Health and Human Services has earmarked $105 million in initial funds to help Merck (NYSE: MRK) expand company facilities in order to manufacture vaccine J&J developed to treat the novel coronavirus, HHS said Tuesday.

The DPA investment covers the production of vaccine substance and fill-finish vial procedures under the management of J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals business.

HHS noted the large-scale vaccine manufacturing effort seeks to address the U.S. government’s goal of having 100 million vaccine doses available by the end of June.

Merck will update facilities to support vaccine validation and qualification activities with funds to be executed through the HHS’  Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

The White House also asked the Department of Defense to support J&J in daily logistics operations.

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