The acquisition of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company's vaccine would likely be completed in the latter half of this year.
The federal government is purchasing another 100 million doses of the one-shot Janssen Pharmaceuticals COVID-19 vaccine, according to a press briefing by President Jospeh Biden on Wednesday.
The acquisition would likely not contribute to Biden’s previously stated goal of at least 1 COVID-19 vaccine dose available for every adult American by the end of May, as the acquired doses would likely be delivered in the latter half of this year.
In his briefing, Biden stated such timing of vaccine delivery is too some extent deliberate.
"In a wartime effort, which is what we consider this, we need maximum flexibility,” Biden said. “We want to be oversupplied and over-prepared. There's also a chance that we'll encounter an unexpected challenge on new need in our vaccination efforts, and we are preparing for just that."
The announcement coincided with Biden’s meeting between the chief executive officers of Johnson & Johnson and Merck. Just last week, the pharmaceutical rivals had reached an agreement to collaborate on production of the former’s recently authorized vaccines—a partnership brokered by the White House.
As of this week, more than 32 million (9.78%) Americans had been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with either Pfizer and BioNTech’s BNT162b2, Moderna’s mRNA-1273, or Janssen’s adenovirus Ad26.COV2.S.