MSD to help make Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine

MSD will help make rival Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing senior officials from the Biden administration.

US President Joe Biden is expected to make the announcement on Tuesday, the report said. US-based Merck – known outside the US as MSD – is the second largest maker of vaccines worldwide. It halted the development of two of its own coronavirus vaccines in January to instead focus on two Covid-19 treatments.

The company said last month that it was in talks with governments and companies to potentially help with manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines that have been authorised.

The drugmaker will dedicate two US facilities to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, according to the report. The US regulator, the FDA, approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use at the weekend. European regulators are considering its application next week.

“Merck remains steadfast in our commitment to contribute to the global response to the pandemic,” the company said.

J&J did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. – Reuters


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