Joe Biden invokes wartime law to build coronavirus vaccine stock

US President Joe Biden has promised to have enough coronavirus vaccine doses for every adult in the country by the end of May.

During a news conference at the White House, Biden said he had invoked a wartime production law to require pharmaceutical company Merck & Co to help produce a newly approved vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, the third vaccine approved by the FDA.

The US already had contracts with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to supply 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, enough to vaccinate all adults by the end of July, but addition of a third viable vaccine and additional manufacturing capacity pushed that timeline forward.

“We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden told reporters.

The US has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but infections and coronavirus-related deaths have been declining in recent weeks amid a push to inoculate more Americans and put stricter public health regulations in place.

Over 28.7 million COVID-19 cases and more than 516,200 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported across the country to date.

Biden has promised to administer 100 million COVID-19 jabs in his first 100 days in office. According to CDC, more than 78.6 million doses had been administered.