Jun 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

U.S. buys 300,000 more monkeypox vaccine doses

A microscopic image depicting a monkeypox virus particle published on June 6.
A microscopic image depicting a monkeypox virus particle published on June 6. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The U.S. government said Friday it has purchased an additional 300,000 monkeypox vaccines produced by Bavarian Nordic, adding to its current stock of around 72,000 doses, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. has started shipping vaccines to multiple states to prevent the spread of the virus, which is endemic in parts of Africa but has recently started appearing in localized outbreaks in several European countries and several states in the U.S.

  • Bavarian Nordic produces the two-dose Jynneos vaccine, which has been approved to help prevent smallpox and monkeypox in the U.S.

What they're saying: Dawn O’Connell, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters Friday that the U.S. will begin to receive the 300,000 vaccines over the next several weeks and that the country has ordered 500,0000 vaccines in total.

  • “We have the vaccines and treatments we need to respond,” O’Connell said, according to AP.

The new purchase comes days after the WHO said it does not recommend mass vaccination against monkeypox.

  • It recommended that countries with vaccine supply should use it "to protect those who may be exposed" to monkeypox, such as health workers and laboratory personnel.
  • Raj Panjabi, White House senior director for global health security and biodefense, said last week that vaccines are being offered to people who've had high-risk contact with infected individuals to help prevent further transmission.

By the numbers: The U.S. has confirmed and reported a total of 45 monkeypox cases in 15 states and D.C. as of Friday.

  • Globally, as of Wednesday, more than 1,000 cases had been reported to the World Health Organization from 29 countries that are not endemic for the disease.
  • No deaths from the virus have been reported.

The big picture: While monkeypox outbreaks in certain countries have started to expand in some countries, the virus not likely to cause a global pandemic like COVID, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.

  • Other countries, like Germany, have also purchased additional vaccine doses from Bavarian Nordic as a precaution against larger outbreaks.

Go deeper: Monkeypox offers new cause for contact tracing

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