Biden Expects to Vaccinate All Adults by End of May, Announces Vaccine Manufacturing Partnership
This week, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. announced several updates related to the federal government’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, we highlight these activities:
- Vaccines by End of May: President Biden announced on Tuesday the U.S. will have enough COVID-19 vaccine supply for every adult in America to be inoculated by the end of May. The Biden Administration had previously indicated it anticipated having enough supply to vaccinate all adults by the end of July, representing a two-month improvement on previous projections. The President’s remarks are available here.
- Merck and J&J to Partner: President Biden indicated his Administration invoked the Defense Production Act to help forge a manufacturing partnership between Merck and Johnson & Johnson to expand production of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. The collaboration will increase manufacturing capacity of the COVID-19 vaccine as Merck repurposes its existing facilities to produce drug substance, formulate, and fill vials of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Merck previously abandoned development of its own COVID-19 vaccine following unfavorable Phase 1 clinical trial results. Additional information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is available here.
- Health Insurers Partner to Vaccinate Older Adults: The Biden-Harris Administration additionally announced the creation of the Vaccine Community Connectors Pilot Initiative to support the vaccination of two million seniors age 65 and older in the country’s most at-risk, vulnerable, and undeserved communities. Members of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) extended their commitment to identifying vulnerable older adults, working with partners to educate seniors on the vaccine, and working with governmental partners to deliver vaccines to underserved communities. Additional information on the initiative is available here.