Pharmaceutical giant Merck will help manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images


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Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Pharmaceutical giant Merck will help manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Pharmaceutical giant Merck will help manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Tuesday, calling it “an unprecedented historic step,” considering that the two companies are normally competitors.

Merck will produce the drug substance at the heart of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine as well as work on filling vaccine vials and getting them ready for distribution.

“The U.S. government will facilitate this partnership in several key ways, including invoking the Defense Production Act to equip two Merck facilities to the standards necessary to safety manufacture the vaccine and asking the Department of Defense to provide daily logistical support to strengthen Johnson

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Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images

Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images

  • The easing of restrictions on the sale of alcohol has been welcomed by the liquor industry. 
  • The announcement was made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday. 
  • Ramaphosa said the country’s infection rate and hospital admissions had dropped enough for the ban to be eased.

While it is a relief that the liquor sales ban has been lifted, there should be “more structured engagement” from government with the sector so that they are not surprised with sudden restrictions, an industry representative has said. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announced on Monday night that the contentious ban on the sale of alcohol would be partly lifted.

Addressing South Africans, Ramaphosa said the country’s infection rate and hospital admissions had dropped enough for the ban to be eased.

“The sale of alcohol by licensed premises for off-site consumption will be permitted from Mondays to Thursdays, from

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