The Biden administration has ordered an additional 500,000 more doses of the Jynneos vaccine for monkeypox, marking a big step up in the government’s response amid rising cases in the United States and around the world.
Denmark-based biotech group Bavarian Nordic, the manufacturer of the vaccines, said that the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has placed the order, to be delivered later this year.
“With the previous order from BARDA for 1.4 million doses of liquid-frozen JYNNEOS, awarded in 2020, this order will bring the total U.S. inventory of the vaccine to nearly 2 million doses,” the company announced on Friday. Many of the 1.9 million doses are being held by the company until the U.S. government requests them.
The 500,000 vaccine doses will be manufactured using bulk materials that are owned by the United States under previous contracts with BARDA, and are currently stored with the company.
“The majority of this bulk, however, will be converted to approximately 13 million freeze-dried doses of JYNNEOS during 2023-2025,” Barvarian Nordic said.
Dawn O’Connell, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, said on Friday that the U.S. government has a stockpile of 72,000 Jynneos doses, and will get 300,000 more doses from Bavarian Nordic over the next several weeks. She also confirmed that 500,000 more Jynneos doses from Bavarian Nordic will be delivered later this year.
“We have the vaccines and treatments we need to respond,” she said.
As of late Friday, the United States has identified 49 monkeypox cases in 16 states and the District of Columbia. More than 1,470 cases have been found in about 30 other countries outside of Africa, where the virus is endemic, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC said Friday that every case they had looked at in the United States involved very close contact. Officials have alerted doctors to watch for monkeypox cases and offered vaccinations to people in close contact with those who were infected.