Photo: Morsa Images/Getty Images
The federal government has ordered an additional 2.5 million doses of Bavarian Nordic’s JYNNEOS vaccine to respond to the current monkeypox outbreak. This follows a July 1 order for 2.5 million doses which will begin arriving in the National Strategic Stock (SNS) over the next year.
The Department of Health and Human Services placed the order and essentially doubled the number of doses that will be available; the new order will begin arriving at the SNS in 2023, bringing the federal government’s available vaccine supply to treat monkeypox to nearly 7 million doses by the middle of next year.
HHS also announced that 131,000 additional doses of JYNNEOS had just arrived in the SNS; the department makes these doses immediately available to states and jurisdictions. This latest allocation of the vaccine brings the total available to states and jurisdictions since late May to more than 300,000 doses.
HHS has shipped all of the doses that have been ordered by states and jurisdictions – approximately 156,000 doses, including approximately 100,000 doses delivered last week.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT
The move is part of the Biden administration global strategy to fight the monkeypox virus. It plans to do this by increasing vaccine production and distribution, expanding testing availability, and engaging with local health services in affected communities.
The United States Food and Drug Administration also recently announced that it has completed its inspection of the Bavarian Nordic manufacturing plant in Denmark. Observations from inspections inform FDA’s evaluation of other quality information submitted by sponsors, which is essential to help ensure vaccine safety and effectiveness.
The facility’s doses can potentially be approved by the end of July, which would mean around 780,000 more doses would be added to the government’s available supply.
In addition to vaccines, the Biden-Harris administration has worked to increase the availability of monkeypox testing nationwide by partnering with five commercial testing companies. Since the start of the current epidemic, testing capacity has increased to 70,000 per week, from 6,000 previously.
THE GREAT TREND
Monkeypox poses minimal risk to most Americans, according to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
Still, HHS announced an enhanced national immunization strategy in June, which will prioritize vaccines for areas with the highest number of cases and provide guidance to state, territorial, tribal and local health officials for the assist in their planning and response efforts.
Last week, Mayo Clinic labs began testing for monkeypox using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention orthopoxvirus test, which detects most non-pox-related orthopoxviruses, including monkeypox. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the ability of commercial labs to test for monkeypox is a crucial part of the agency’s strategy to fight the disease.
Mayo Clinic Laboratories will offer these tests at the laboratories of the Clinical Microbiology Division of its Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and can accept samples from anywhere in the country. Mayo Clinic Laboratories expects to be able to perform up to 10,000 tests per week, which will continue to increase the current capacity provided by the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network and Labcorp, which began testing earlier this month. .
A study published in June in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology found a low risk of monkeypox transmission in a clinical setting. Of the 12 studies included in the meta-analysis, the researchers could find only one case of a higher risk of exposure resulting in transmission to a healthcare worker.