MSD to help make Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine

Vaccine giant offers assistance after pulling plug on own Covid candidate

MSD  will dedicate two US facilities to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, according to the report. Photograph: Nic Bothma/ EPA

MSD will dedicate two US facilities to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, according to the report. Photograph: Nic Bothma/ EPA

 

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

US president Joe Biden was 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 focus instead on two Covid-19 treatments.

The company said last month it was in talks with governments and companies to potentially help with manufacturing 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.

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