Everything you need to know about the monkeypox vaccine
Everything you need to know about the monkeypox vaccine

Everything you need to know about the monkeypox vaccine

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The Bavarian Nordics were contracted to develop a safer smallpox vaccine for the US in the early 2000s, amid fears smallpox could be used as a bioterrorism weapon against the country, Sørensen said. The company has produced and stocked Jynneos for the country in the following years.

Sørensen denies there have been any bottlenecks in vaccine supply so far. The company has fulfilled every request it has received since the start of the outbreak, he said on July 28 — including requests from every affected country.

“We haven’t seen any demand so far that exceeds our current capacity,” Sørensen said. “We’ve heard from various sources that there is a limit, but we think it’s a real ghost.”

The ability to deliver this dose is largely down to luck, Srensen said. “When the outbreak came, we had … completely by chance, the equivalent of 2 million doses of a large quantity of our own vaccine [in addition to that owned by the US], and it was immediately converted into a vial,” he said. “And that’s what we started selling.”

There are “very few” of the doses left now, but the company has “upped production,” he added.

Will the stockpiled vaccine be distributed?

Hopefully. In addition to the bulk vaccine stockpiled by the Bavarian Nordic, the US Strategic National Stockpile, an emergency repository of medicines and medical supplies, includes millions of doses of ACAM2000 and thousands of doses of Jynneos.

More countries are expected to have smallpox vaccine stocks. “I don’t think it’s really known which countries have stocks and how many vaccines they have, but it’s not just the US,” Heymann said.

The WHO has asked countries that have the vaccine to share doses with those that do not. Some scientists have pointed out that a monkeypox vaccine is not yet available in African countries where the virus is endemic.

“I think we should all be concerned about equitable access to vaccines,” Heymann said. But he highlighted the fact that this vaccine was developed for stock from the very beginning. “They are sold to countries for supplies in case smallpox is to be used as a bioterrorist weapon,” he said.

Without the push to stockpile vaccines, we wouldn’t have Jynneos. “It really is a Catch-22, isn’t it,” Hermann said. “This is a complicated matter. we need [incentives and financial support to make] this vaccine, but at the same time we need it to be shared as widely as possible.”

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