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Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

HHS orders 2.5 million additional doses of Bavarian Nordic’s monkeypox vaccine

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Responding to the more than 450 cases of monkeypox reported in the United States as of July 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ordered another 2.5 million doses of Bavarian Nordic’s JYNNEOS vaccine for smallpox and monkeypox.

The case count held at 459 at the end of last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and globally, figures neared 6,000. The largest of these outbreaks seem to be focused in Europe at present.

“Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are tracking multiple cases of monkeypox that have been reported in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States,” the CDC’s situation summary announced. “It’s not clear how the people were exposed to monkeypox.”

Enter JYNNEOS, a vaccine already licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HHS intends to stockpile it for use in current or future smallpox or monkeypox outbreaks, and with the additional influx of doses, its supply will total more than 4 million vaccines. Deliveries of these doses will begin arriving later this year and continue through early 2023.

Doses produced by Bavarian Nordic will be in liquid frozen form, using vaccines already manufactured in bulk under an existing 10-year contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for use against smallpox. BARDA also supported the original development of JYNNEOS.

“The medical countermeasures available to help respond to the current outbreak are the result of years of investment and planning made possible through the ongoing work between HHS and private industry,” Gary Disbrow, director of BARDA, said. “We are pleased that we have been able to work with our partners at Bavarian Nordic to accelerate delivery of vaccines that can help keep people safe and stem the spread of the virus.”

Generally, monkeypox has been a rare disease since the first human case broke out in 1970. Before this year, nearly all cases of the disease were rooted in African countries, with cases beyond those borders linked to international travel to affected countries or through imported animals.