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Millions of Monkeypox Vaccines Ordered by Feds

Photo by Kampus Production

A crucial update was announced by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Following complaints about the federal government's slow response to the monkeypox (MPV) outbreak, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday it ordered another 2.5 million doses of the vaccine.

The order, placed for Bavarian Nordic's JYNNEOS vaccine, immediately opened up 131,000 doses in local jurisdictions struggling to parse out jabs.

Combined with a July 1 order of similar size, the government expects 7 million MPV doses to be part of its available supply by mid-2023. But many suffering from MPV — predominantly men who have sex with men — or those concerned they could catch it, are justifiably more concerned with the present. In its Friday announcement about the large JYNNEOS purchase, HHS claims immediate help is here.

"This latest allocation of vaccine brings the total number of doses made available to states and jurisdictions since late May to more than 300,000 doses," according to the agency. "HHS has shipped out all of the doses that have been ordered by states and jurisdictions, approximately 156,000 doses, with about 100,000 doses of those delivered in the past week."

Improving testing, "scaling" production and distribution of vaccines, working with local health departments, and messaging affecting communities are part of Biden's MPV strategy, according to HHS.

“We continue to do everything we can to ramp up supply of vaccines and distribute them to those in need as quickly and equitably as possible,” HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell said in a statement. “Our strategy is to secure additional doses for the near-term while also making sure we have a steady supply in the weeks and months to come.”

The Food and Drug Administration also announced it successfully inspected the Danish manufacturing facility of Bavarian Nordic, the pharmaceutical company behind the JYNNEOS vaccine. The FDA's green light means doses from that facility could be approved by months end, opening up an additional 780,000 doses.

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Neal Broverman