SPY383.63+6.93 1.84%
DIA315.24+5.66 1.83%
IXIC12,920.15+196.68 1.55%

UPDATE 1-White House says 'every option' on table for fast early production of J&J vaccine

· 02/05/2021 12:23
UPDATE 1-White House says 'every option' on table for fast early production of J&J vaccine

Updates with more details from briefing

By Dania Nadeem and Rebecca Spalding

- The Biden administration said on Friday it was invoking the Defense Production Act to help Pfizer Inc PFE.N ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production and that "every option" was on the table to produce more Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N vaccine should it be authorized.

It will also use the wartime powers to increase at-home COVID-19 tests, and make more surgical gloves in the United States, officials said at a Friday media briefing.

"As is the case with other vaccines, we have not found that the level of manufacturing allows us to have as much vaccine as we think we need coming out of the gate," said Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House’s COVID-19 response team, referring to the J&J vaccine. J&J applied on Thursday for U.S. emergency use authorization.

Under the authority of the Defense Production Act, the government will give priority ratings to two components important to Pfizer’s vaccine production - filling pumps and tangential flow filtration units, the officials said.

“We told you that when we heard of a bottleneck on needed equipment, supplies, or technology related to vaccine supply that we would step in and help, and we were doing just that,” said Tim Manning, the supply chain coordinator for the national COVID-19 response.

The government will also invoke its powers under the Defense Production Act to increase at-home COVID-19 tests with six, unnamed manufacturers, aiming to produce 61 million tests by the summer, Manning said.

It will also invoke its powers to increase the nation’s supply of surgical gloves, which are currently made almost exclusively overseas.

Manning said the government will build factories that make the raw materials for surgical gloves and help build plants in the U.S. to make the gloves.

He said that by the end of the year, the United States would be able to produce a billion gloves a month.



(Reporting by Dania Nadeem and Rebecca Spalding in Bengaluru, Editing by Franklin Paul and Peter Henderson)

((Dania.Nadeem@thomsonreuters.com;))