Europe approves Merck's plant to make J&J COVID-19 vaccine

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FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The Merck logo is seen at a gate to the Merck & Co campus in Rahway, New Jersey

(Reuters) - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday it had approved U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co Inc's manufacturing site in West Point, Pennsylvania to make Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this year, Merck agreed to make its rival's shot, after scrapping two of its own experimental COVID-19 vaccines.

The U.S. government at that time invoked the Defense Production Act to help equip two Merck plants to make the J&J vaccine.

The EMA said Merck's site, to become operational immediately, was expected to support the continued supply of J&J's COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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