Biden to Hold Event With J&J, Merck CEOs to Mark Vaccine Deal

President Joe Biden will mark a partnership between Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co. at an event next week, after the competing drugmakers signed a pact to accelerate U.S. vaccine production.

Biden will attend the event with the chief executive officers of both companies on March 10, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday. It will he held at at Emergent BioSolutions, a J&J supplier, in Baltimore, she said.

The next day, Biden will speak about the “anniversary of the Covid-19 shutdown,” Psaki said. On March 11, 2020, the nation’s major shutdown measures began amid spread of the virus.

Earlier this week, Biden said Merck would help J&J accelerate its vaccine production. The U.S. government also announced its own deal with Merck. “I want to thank Johnson & Johnson and Merck for stepping up and being good corporate citizens during this national crisis,” Biden said earlier this week.

The U.S. expects to receive nearly all, or all, of its 100 million-dose order from J&J by the end of May. It has received roughly 4 million doses so far.

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