The race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine moved at blinding speed. The winners ended up being Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, but what about the others? According to a recent New York Times article, Merck & Co will help manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine to increase supply as new variants of the virus emerge. The union was facilitated by the White House just days after the FDA granted emergency authorization to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Merck will designate two of its facilities to the production of the vaccine, which only requires one shot. One facility will provide the final phase of the manufacturing process known as “fill-finish” while the other will manufacture the actual vaccine itself. Officials hope that by the end of the year the arrangement will double the output Johnson & Johnson could’ve produced alone.