States and jurisdictions will begin receiving another 144,000 doses of the Bavarian Nordic JYNNEOS vaccine from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) this week as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) pivots to focus more heavily on monkeypox.
As of July 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 790 cases of the normally rare disease in-country since it first emerged in the United States in May. More than 41,000 doses of the vaccine have already gone out to state and local officials since. Still, the additional doses are a precautionary measure factored into an enhanced nationwide vaccine strategy announced last month.
“We are using every tool we have to increase and accelerate JYNNEOS vaccine availability in jurisdictions that need them the most,” Steve Adams, Director of the Strategic National Stockpile, said. “In less than ten days, we’ve made available 200,000 JYNNEOS vaccine doses in communities where transmission has been the highest and with high-risk populations and significantly scaled testing availability and convenience. Together, these are critical components of our overall effort to combat this virus, and we will continue to coordinate closely with states and jurisdictional partners to make sure they have the vaccines, testing, and treatments needed to respond to the current outbreak.”
Today, more than 70 Laboratory Response Network labs in 48 states have scaled testing capacity to address the disease, which is normally endemic to parts of Africa. The White House also began shipping tests to five major commercial reference labs to increase testing capacity. Before this outbreak, which has hit nations worldwide, most monkeypox cases outside of Africa were caused by international travel to endemic countries or by imported animals, according to the CDC.
JYNNEOS, a vaccine made by Bavarian Nordic and meant for use against monkeypox and its relative smallpox, is being relied on heavily for the current HHS response. It expects to make approximately 1.9 million doses of JYNNEOS available this year and another 2.2 million available in the first half of next year. On July 1, the government ordered another 2.5 million doses of JYNNEOS for the current and future monkeypox outbreaks, as well as smallpox preparedness efforts.