The company's experimental vaccine is currently in early stage human trials and is expected to begin late-stage human trials in September, executives have previously said. The deal gives the U.S. the option to order an additional 200 million doses, according to the announcement.
"We are scaling up production in the U.S. and worldwide to deliver a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for emergency use," said Dr. Paul Stoffels, chief science officer at Johnson & Johnson, in a statement.
The U.S. earlier this year awarded J&J $456 million to develop its vaccine. The company said its goal is to supply more than 1 billion doses globally through 2021.
The doses will be provided to Americans at no cost if they're used in a Covid-19 vaccination campaign, the U.S. Department of Health and Human services said in a separate press release. However, health-care professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccine, HHS said.
"Today's investment represents the next step in supporting Janssen's vaccine candidate all the way through manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the statement. Janssen Pharmaceutical, which is owned by J&J, is developing the vaccine.
J&J is one of a handful of companies that have reached a deal with the U.S. to supply their potential coronavirus vaccine upon federal approval. The U.S. announced Friday it will pay drugmaker Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline up to $2.1 billion to develop and deliver 100 million doses of their potential vaccine.
The U.S. also said it will pay Pfizer and biotech firm BioNTech $1.95 billion to produce and deliver 100 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccine if it proves safe and effective, the companies announced in late July.
J&J's vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S, is using the same technology it used to make its experimental Ebola vaccine, which was provided to people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2019.