WILSON – More jobs and dollars for investment are coming to the Merck campus in Wilson.

The drug giant announced a $57 million expansion of its vaccine manufacturing capabilities.

And the company will be hiring an additional 55 people.

Merck, local officials and the North Carolina Department of Commerce made the announcement Wednesday.

The Wilson Times first reported the news, saying the expansion is for production of RotaTeq which protects babies from rotavirus.

“Merck is delighted to announce its second significant investment at our Wilson plant in less than a year,” said Sanat Chattopadhyay, Executive Vice President and President, Merck Manufacturing Division. This latest commitment will enable us to introduce a new and innovative filling and packaging technology to assist in the production of our important RotaTeq vaccine. We appreciate all the support we’ve received for this project from Governor Cooper, Secretary Copeland and his staff, and from Wilson County.”

In July, Merck announced 425 new jobs headed to Durham and Wilson.

The company will invest some $680 million in new manufacturing space and expanded packaging space to support its HPV vaccine Gardisil.

“Nothing beats first-hand knowledge, and Merck’s previous experience in our state gave them the confidence to bring this new business line here,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland.  “In just one year, this company has now invested $737 million in North Carolina, proving again that we’re a hotbed for the life science industry.”

The company will receive a $200,000 grant from the state, which must be matched by local incentives.

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Merck picks Durham, Wilson for $680M expansion, 425 new jobs