US President Joe Biden will double the US order for Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, bringing the country’s total supply to 500 million people, an official told Bloomberg News.
President Joe Biden to double the U.S. one-shot vaccine order from Johnson & Johnson – in search of an additional 100 million doses – bringing the country’s supply to enough for 500 million people, an official familiar with the plans said .
Biden will make the announcement Wednesday at an event with the CEOs of J&J and Merck & Co., who have entered into a collaboration to boost production of the J&J vaccine. The United States previously ordered 100 million doses, which the company says will be delivered before the end of June.
The order is a sign the United States continues to stockpile doses as questions swirl around which vaccine will be best for children. No injections are currently allowed in people under the age of 16, with efficacy studies ongoing in older children and more to follow in younger ones.
Johnson & Johnson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the plan.
Health officials are also sounding the alarm on emerging and more contagious variants of the virus, which could lessen the impact of some inoculations or further increase the need for booster vaccines.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that these factors would also have an impact when the United States could share excess doses with other countries.
“We don’t know which vaccine works best for children. Of course, these tests are ongoing, ”Psaki said. “We still don’t know the impact of all the variations yet, so I have nothing to predict for you in terms of what additional supply will be shared and when, and the process for that.”
With this order, the United States is now expecting 200 million doses of J&J, which is enough for 200 million people. This is in addition to the 300 million doses each from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., each containing a two-dose vaccine. In total, this is enough for 500 million people. There are currently about 330 million Americans.