President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that pharmaceutical giant Merck will partner with Johnson & Johnson to help boost vaccine production.

While the two companies are traditionally rivals in the pharmaceutical and vaccine market, Johnson & Johnson is expecting rollout delays after their initial 3.9 million doses shipped Monday. Merck announced at the end of February that they would discontinue their research into a COVID-19 vaccine and focus efforts on manufacturing the J&J vaccine.

“Merck remains steadfast in our commitment to contribute to the global response to the pandemic and to preparing to address future pandemics,” said a Merck spokesperson soon after their announcement that they would be focusing on manufacturing instead of research and development.

Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use in people 18 and older by the CDC Monday. On the same day, Johnson & Johnson announced they would be sending 3.9 million vials of their single-dose vaccine around the country. With Merck pitching in, Biden’s promise that every American can be vaccinated by July appears more possible by the day.


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