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Our COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be an unrivaled scientific and global health challenge. As a company with a long legacy of research in infectious diseases, we have a responsibility to help.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have remained focused on protecting the safety of our employees and their families, sustaining the supply of our medicines and vaccines for patients and customers and contributing our scientific expertise to the development of medicines to combat COVID-19.

How Merck has responded throughout the COVID-19 pandemic:

Protecting our employees and their families

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have prioritized the health, safety and well-being of our employees and their families. Extensive steps have been taken to ensure that all of our work sites, including manufacturing plants and labs, are as safe as possible. We have listened to our colleagues carefully to understand their needs, adapting existing policies and introducing new programs to help our extended family deal with the many challenges of this pandemic. We have supported COVID-19 vaccination, diagnosis and treatment, focused on physical, mental, social and financial well-being and provided resources to both improve our virtual working environment and help with unique work-life integration challenges. 

Stepping up as an industry

The remarkable pace of the development of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines is good news for our industry and for society – and the direct result of sustained investments in research and development by the research-based pharmaceutical industry, smaller biotechnology companies, academia and governments. We applaud these efforts, which must continue.

Advancing our investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine

We’ve been committed to developing a response to the COVID-19 pandemic since it was first recognized. We're advancing our investigational COVID-19 antiviral medicine, scaling up production, and working on approaches to enable broad access.

Partnering to manufacture and supply Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines

We are proud to lend our expertise and capacity to support the manufacturing and supply of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. We believe the vaccines developed by the research-based pharmaceutical industry are the most important first-line of defense for the prevention of COVID-19.

Giving back

We are committed to supporting our health care providers and our communities. Where possible, our employees around the world have been helping, including contributing volunteer services and donations to support both local and global responses. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we changed our volunteer policy to support employees with nursing and other medical backgrounds.

We recognize the need for additional health care professionals — including doctors, nurses and medical laboratory technicians — throughout a pandemic. That’s why in March 2020, we launched a program to enable our medically trained employees to volunteer their time to aid their communities while maintaining their base pay. Learn more about philanthropy at Merck, and check out our annual Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) report.


Does Merck have medicines or vaccines for COVID-19, or is Merck developing any medicines and vaccines to help combat COVID-19?

Merck has been fully committed to developing an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic since it was first recognized, and we know that success requires continued collaboration among countries, companies and more.

In partnership with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, we’re advancing our investigational COVID-19 oral antiviral therapy. We’re hopeful that we can make a meaningful impact on the pandemic and help patients around the world.

Will Merck be using its manufacturing capabilities to support the supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

In March 2021, we announced an agreement with BARDA to adapt and make available a number of the company’s manufacturing facilities for production of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines. Additionally, we announced agreements with Johnson & Johnson to support manufacturing and supply of Johnson & Johnson’s SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 vaccine.

How is Merck supporting patients who are having trouble affording their medications?

Driven by our steadfast commitment to patients, we took a number of new steps to support patients in the United States who may have lost their jobs and insurance coverage due to the pandemic. We will continue to ensure access to Merck medicines at no cost for eligible U.S. patients through its Merck Patient Assistance Program, created 60 years ago based on the company’s belief that no one should go without the medicines or vaccines they need.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Merck Patient Assistance Program made a number of changes to help patients who have lost their job or cannot get into their doctor’s office during this crisis, including assessing patients’ real-time financial situations, providing assistance with expiring enrollments, and offering new options to collect signatures on enrollment forms.

To learn more about resources Merck has available for patients who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, call 1-800-672-6372 or visit our information page on Merck.com.

Is COVID-19 impacting the supply of Merck medicines and vaccines?

While the situation remains fluid, we are not aware of any impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on the production and supply of our medicines and vaccines for the US at this time. As communities around our manufacturing facilities are impacted by various social distancing measures implemented by their local and country authorities, we have been able to effectively mitigate to ensure continuity of our supply chains.

Where can patients go for questions about Merck medicines and vaccines?

If you have questions about a Merck medication, please contact our National Service Center at wecare@merck.com or call us at 1-800-672-6372.

How can I reach the media team at Merck?

If you have an inquiry and would like to reach our media team, please email mediarelations@merck.com.

Stories that inspire our work

Our work in the fight against COVID-19 reaches across all corners of our company, our personal lives and our communities, where many of our medically trained employees have volunteered their time.