Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine could scale up to a billion doses by end of 2021: CEO

Johnson & Johnson is one of many companies racing for a vaccine

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Johnson & Johnson has narrowed down a lead coronavirus vaccine candidate to test on humans and wants to scale up to nearly one billion doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021 if it proves effective and safe, CEO Alex Gorsky told "Mornings with Maria" on Tuesday.

"This would ordinarily take about five years, but as we all know these are very different times," Gorsky said. "We've got a team of scientists literally working around the clock since January."

Gorsky in 2015. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Johnson & Johnson) (Getty)

"We expect to have additional information by the end of this year, early January at the latest to help us determine whether or not this can be effective," he said.

COMPANIES CHASING CORONAVIRUS VACCINES: JOHNSON & JOHNSON, SANOFI AND MORE

Johnson & Johnson's pharmaceutical company Janssen worked with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, part of Harvard Medical School, to test and select its lead coronavirus vaccine candidate, the company said Monday.

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JNJJOHNSON & JOHNSON143.870.000.00%

Johnson & Johnson plans to move to human clinical studies by September and achieve emergency use authorization by early 2021. Gorsky said the company wants to have hundreds of millions of doses available by early 2021 and nearly a billion doses available by the end of 2021.

"As we're testing this vaccine, we're also ramping up production capacity in real time," Gorsky said. "Not only do you need a safe and effective vaccine, you need enough quantity of the vaccine to actually make a difference."

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JNJJOHNSON & JOHNSON143.870.000.00%

The company has partnered with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to commit to investing more than $1 billion in fighting the coronavirus.

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