Biden Vows to Vaccinate All Adults by May, Futures Tick Up
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- President Biden announces an unusual partnership
- US states move to ease restrictions
- US futures indicate a higher open
The Biden administration has formalized a production deal between two large drugmakers. According to the deal, the US will have enough coronavirus vaccine doses for every adult before the end of spring. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the US will soon be able to vaccinate its entire adult population thanks to an unusual deal his administration has engineered between two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies. “With our efforts to ramp up production, we will have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May,” Mr. Biden said on Twitter. A few moments later he appeared in a video, also posted on Twitter by the Presidential account, in which he announced a deal between Johnson & Johnson and Merck.
“Today, I’m announcing we’re bringing together Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and the full power of the federal government to ramp up vaccine production and defeat this virus,” the President said. “Johnson & Johnson and Merck will work together to expand the production of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. This is the type of collaboration between companies we saw in World War II. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine manufacturing facilities will now begin to operate 24/7.” Mr. Biden concluded.
Merck is already one of the world’s largest vaccine makers. But so far, the efforts to produce a Covid-19 vaccine have not materialized and the company fell behind in the race. Having tried to produce a vaccine, the company gave up the efforts in January after disappointing results. Now, it will receive nearly $270 million from the US government to adopt its manufacturing facilities to help Johnson & Johnson produce more of its coronavirus vaccine. Merck states that the funding will help accelerate efforts to scale up manufacturing capacity and delivery.
A Higher Open for US Futures
Johnson & Johnson recently received authorization for the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine in the US. The vaccine should be easier to distribute than those from Moderna and BioNTech because it is a single-dose jab and people will not have to wait before returning for a second appointment. Additionally, the J&J coronavirus vaccine can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures.
This week, states across the country are moving to relax the restrictions that have been in place due to the pandemic. The White House, however, and the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, have warned against the relaxation of any virus-related restrictions until more Americans are vaccinated. According to Dr. Fauci, a vaccination rate of 80% should be reached for the country to achieve “herd immunity”. So far, only about 8% have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
In hopes of increasing vaccination pace, joint efforts between rival pharmaceutical companies, and lifting of restrictions, US futures in premarket trading indicate a higher open of the session on Wednesday. Futures tied to the Nasdaq Composite point to a green open by over 0.60%, while S&P500 futures and Dow Jones futures are higher by 0.40% each.
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