Merck has agreed to help J&J with the production of the vaccine to speed up the process.

The United States plans to double its order for Johnson & Johnson’s single-component coronavirus vaccine by purchasing an additional 100 million doses, a White House official said on Wednesday.

President Joe Biden will announce at a meeting with pharmaceutical executives at J&J and Merck later on Wednesday, the source said on anonymity. Merck has agreed to cooperate with J&J in the production of the vaccine.

The United States has already paid more than $ 1 billion for 100 million doses from J&J and has an option to buy another 200 million doses.

J&J’s vaccine production is slower than expected: the company originally promised to deliver 37 million doses by this point, but now it is talking about 20 million. Deliveries are expected to resume at the end of March.

Rival Merck agreed to help Johnson & Johnson with packaging and packaging and directly with the production of the vaccine. The process is expected to be established by May. J&J, which has committed to producing 1 billion doses this year, also said it continues to look for new manufacturing partners.

In December, the US approved vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, which pledged to deliver 120 and 100 million doses to the country by the end of March, respectively. By the end of July, each of the companies promised to deliver 300 million doses.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Tuesday morning, more than 123 million doses of coronavirus vaccines had been distributed, and 93.7 million vaccinations had been given.