Spain will benefit from the “historic” J & J-MSD agreement on Covid vaccines: The North American pharmaceutical company Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, will help Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) manufacture more doses of its Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in the United States.
A historic agreement that will increase production and affect the distribution of vaccines in all countries of the world, including Spain, as Manuel Cotarelo, director of the Medical Area of Virology and Vaccines at MSD in Spain, explains to the Medical Staff. In any case, J&J is responsible for distributing the vaccine and not MSD.
“This announcement that was made yesterday is an agreement between J&J and MSD to use MSD factories, which is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world, for the manufacture and packaging of the J&J vaccine, since by pooling resources between MSD and J&J, it is possible to have sufficient capacity for the number of vaccines that are needed globally “, the expert has explained.
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He pointed out that although the agreement is only limited to factories located in the United States, it is for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines globally, including to Spain. “The problem with the vaccine, and not only this one, is that we need the entire world population to be released in a short space of time, so the more production there is of all vaccines and in less time the more capable we will be of achieving this. ”
The agreement they have reached with Merck establishes that two of its plants in the United States will be used to manufacture Janssen’s Covid-19 vaccine. In one, the vials will be filled with the antigen and in the other, the final product will be made with the packaging ready for distribution. The capacity of Merck, a company that participated unsuccessfully in the race to get its own Covid vaccine, could double that of Johnson & Johnson.
Historic alliance between two competitors
This alliance is “historic” between two competing companies, they point out, and they acknowledge that it is a “wartime effort” against the coronavirus pandemic. This past Sunday, the United States gave the green light to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine against Covid-19.
This is the third approved after the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Unlike the previous two, the Janssen only requires one dose and its storage conditions are more flexible. This is because the technology with which it was created is different. The Janssen vaccine uses an adenovirus as a vector and not messenger RNA. Although its efficiency has a lower percentage, studies have shown that it significantly reduces severe cases and hospital admissions derived from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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