President Biden’s plan to use a Cold War-era law to boost the Covid-19 vaccination effort isn’t likely to expand production significantly in the near term, but it could jump-start vaccinations by increasing other supplies such as syringes, vaccine manufacturers and experts say.

Mr. Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to take certain steps to expand vaccine manufacturing, such as producing more equipment and materials used to make shots. He also will use the act to boost supplies such as “low dead space” syringes, which can be used to squeeze more doses out of vaccine vials

More aggressive use of the DPA could also give the government better information about vaccine supply chains to help it address gaps, said Stephen Flynn, director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University, who studies infrastructure and supply chains. “It provides the federal government with the visibility of the industrial capacity available to it, to effectively carry out a mass vaccination effort,” he said.


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