The US government has announced that it will make an additional 786,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine available to local health departments “as soon as possible”.
More than 3,500 cases of monkeypox have been recorded in 46 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The United States has the second highest number of monkeypox cases in the world, just behind Spain.
On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it had completed certifications for the Jynneos vaccine at Bavarian Nordic’s facilities in Denmark.
“Given the emerging public health need, the FDA has previously facilitated the shipment of US-manufactured doses to be ready for distribution once manufacturing changes are approved,” he said.
“With this supplement approval, these manufactured doses can now be distributed and administered further. Additional doses manufactured at this facility may help meet the need for this vaccine in the future. »
Last week, the FDA’s inspection pace came under fire from House Democrats, who wrote to President Joe Biden to speed up delivery, CNBC reported.
“It is unclear why the FDA delayed inspection of a stock needed for biodefense, and this oversight cost valuable time in the US response to monkeypox. Bureaucratic delays should not stop us from getting the doses vaccines we need now,” Representatives Mondaire Jones and Jerrold Nadler, both of New York, wrote in the letter to the president, signed by 48 other members of Congress.
The agency, which requires inspections of all vaccine manufacturing plants to ensure safety, sterility and consistency of production, did not begin its checks at the facility until earlier this month, two months after the start of the global monkeypox epidemic.
While authorities had announced orders for an additional five million doses this month, most shipments are not expected to arrive until next year.
“There are not enough doses,” said Dr. Perry Halkitis of Rutgers University. “I think with quicker action from the federal government, we may not be in the current situation.”
Authorities have recommended the vaccines to those who know or suspect they have been exposed to monkeypox in the past two weeks.
The virus spreads through close contact and tends to cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions. Its most well-known symptoms are a high temperature, headache, muscle aches, back pain, swollen glands, chills and exhaustion, according to the NHS website.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of monkeypox in more than 70 countries a “global health emergency”. The WHO label should trigger a coordinated international response and could unlock funds for countries to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.
Cases of monkeypox emerged in early May in countries where the disease is not endemic and continue to be reported in several endemic countries, the WHO said.
According to the CDC, more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 74 countries since May.
Additional reports by agencies
The Independent Gt