U.S. Buys Millions of Monkeypox Vaccines As Massachusetts Man Infected


The U.S. government has ordered millions of doses of a vaccine that protects against monkeypox. The news follows the first confirmed case in the states—a man in Massachusetts—following an outbreak in the U.K. 

The order amounts to a $119 million order for Jynneos vaccines, which are used for the prevention of both smallpox and monkeypox. It was announced by biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic, which makes the vaccine, on Wednesday.

The order will convert bulk vaccines, which have already been made and invoiced under previous contracts with the U.S. government, into freeze-dried versions which have an improved shelf-life.

The total government contract with Bavarian Nordic amounts to $299 million, which would provide 13 million freeze-dried doses.

It’s expected that the first doses will be manufactured by next year with further doses made in 2024 and 2025.

The order comes amid concern about monkeypox cases that have been reported in the U.K. with one case also being reported in Massachusetts.

Monkeypox is a viral disease first discovered in 1958 among colonies of monkeys that were being kept for research. The first human case was recorded in 1970.

Symptoms in humans may include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. Within a day or a few days of the fever, patients then develop a rash that spreads across the body.

The illness tends to last for two to four weeks and has been shown to cause death in as many as 10 percent of people who catch it.

On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) confirmed a single case of monkeypox in an adult male who had recently traveled to Canada. The health department said the case “poses no risk to the public” and that the individual is hospitalized in good condition.

It is the first case of monkeypox to be detected in the country this year. In 2021, two U.S. cases were reported.

“DPH is working closely with the CDC, relevant local boards of health, and the patient’s health care providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while he was infectious,” the DPH said in a statement.

Elsewhere, though, there have been bigger outbreaks. This month alone, the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has detected a total of nine monkeypox cases in the country with more recent cases predominantly in gay or bisexual men.

Notably, the two latest cases had no travel links to another country where monkeypox is endemic, so it’s possible they were transmitted locally.


6 thoughts on “U.S. Buys Millions of Monkeypox Vaccines As Massachusetts Man Infected

  1. Oh boy, here we go again!

    Why don’t they just call this mysterious outbreak, “The Invasion of the 12 Monkeys”?


    1. Spot on and there’s this
      Nti monkeypox simulation page 10
      About the Exercise
      In March 2021, NTI conducted a Tabletop Exercise on Reducing High-Consequence Biological Threats, the third in a series of annual collaborations between NTI and the Munich Security Conference. The exercise examined gaps in national and international biosecurity and pandemic preparedness architectures
      and explored opportunities to improve capabilities to prevent and respond to high-consequence biological events. The exercise included 19 senior leaders and experts from across Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe with decades of combined experience in public health, biotechnology industry, international security, and philanthropy. (See the box on page 9 for the list of exercise participants.)
      Exercise Scenario
      Developed in consultation with technical and policy experts, the exercise scenario portrayed a deadly, global pandemic involving an unusual strain of monkeypox virus that first emerges in the fictional country of Brinia and eventually spreads globally. Later in the exercise, the scenario reveals that the initial outbreak was caused by a terrorist attack using a pathogen engineered in a laboratory with inadequate biosafety and biosecurity provisions and weak oversight. The exercise scenario concludes with more than three billion cases and 270 million fatalities globally. As part of the scenario development process, NTI conducted a virtual consultation with experts in December 2020. (See Appendix A for the list of participating experts.)
      The exercise was designed for participants to:
      • Discuss requirements for international architectures related to science-based, early assessment of emerging pandemic risks and timely international warning and alerts for potential pandemics.
      • Explore conditions that should trigger national pandemic response actions and discuss strategies and challenges for scaling public health interventions.
      • Consider options to reduce biotechnology risks and strengthen oversight of dual-use bioscience research.
      • Explore opportunities to strengthen international financing mechanisms to bolster global health security preparedness

      1. Great info, Misty! I’ve shared it with several like minded family and friends.
        Scary as hell, too… that they’ve manifested this, that they’ve told us (again) their game plan, that the masses refuse to question anything and accept all they’re fed as gospel, etc al

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