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The United States reached a $ 1B deal for doses of a potential Johnson and Johnson vaccine

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a deal worth about $ 1 billion to produce 100 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which the federal government will then own.

The move is the latest in a series of agreements the Trump administration has struck with several companies that make potential coronavirus vaccines. The goal, through Operation Warp Speed, is to place bets on a wide range of vaccine candidates in the hope that at least one and perhaps more will be safe and effective through clinical trials.

Companies will start producing doses before results are achieved to speed up the process.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine recently began phase one clinical trials, placing it behind some of the more advanced potential vaccines, such as those from Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, which began phase three trials.

“Once the vaccine portfolio is being assembled for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021

,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Hazard said in a statement.

Johnson and Johnson said their goal is to provide 1 billion doses in 2021 if the vaccine proves safe and effective.

“We are increasing production in the United States and around the world to deliver SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for emergency use,” said Paul Stofels, the company’s chief scientific officer.

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