In order to purchase an additional 1.8 million doses of its monkeypox vaccine, Bavarian Nordic has reached an agreement with the US government. US government representatives expressed optimism that this new development would help reduce the number of monkeypox cases in the nation. There are currently 13,500 confirmed cases as of the most recent count.
One-third of the 39,000 confirmed cases worldwide, according to the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are currently present in the nation. Health and Human Services warned the nation to begin the widespread vaccination to stop monkeypox from spreading to more states during a briefing at the White House attended by various heads of offices.
“It’s critical that we do all we can to keep this dangerous virus from spreading,” said the Health and Human Services secretary, Xavier Becerra.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), they are getting ready to ship over 360,000 vaccine vials to the states for next week’s distribution. The order of the vials could be made to be equivalent to 1.8 doses by US states, according to the announcement made by Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell.
Shots per vial increased in new method
Thanks to a new method of administering the vaccines that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved last week, each vial would now be equivalent to five shots of the respective vaccines. Previously, the Jynneos vaccines from Bavarian Nordic were designed to reach the deeper layers of the skin. However, the amount of vaccine that needs to be injected is less with intradermal injections, increasing the number of shots per vial.
“In recent weeks, the monkeypox virus has continued to spread at a rate that has made it clear our current vaccine supply will not meet the current demand,” said Robert M. Califf, the FDA Commissioner.
Bavarian Nordic, however, voiced worries regarding the safety of the new technique. The agency claimed that there is not enough evidence or study to back up the safety of the method. Additionally, intradermal injections may cause more patients to experience negative side effects.
“In authorizing an unapproved use of an already approved product, the FDA is ensuring the vaccine meets high standards for safety, immune response and manufacturing quality,” Califf tweeted.
The US will continue its fights against Monkeypox
States and other medical centers that are enabled to administer the vaccine intradermally should have used up 90% of their current supply of monkeypox vaccine. These facilities would have access to the monkeypox doses that the US government had ordered from Bavarian Nordic.
The US announced that it would make the antiviral medication TPOXX from SIGA Technologies Inc. available to people who tested positive for Monkeypox. Fifty thousand treatment courses will also be available to state and local health departments starting the following week.
In addition to the state and local health departments’ already-existing stock, Biden says that a number of vaccine doses have been set aside for regions where there is a density of high-risk groups. “HHS is launching a pilot program that will provide up to 50,000 doses from the National Stockpile to be made available for pride and other events that will have high attendance of gay and bisexual men,” added the White House Monkeypox Response Coordinator, Bob Fenton.
Over 98% of the reported cases of monkeypox nationwide are men, according to a report from the health department. 93% of those figures originate from men who have sex with other men, which is a little less than the 99% from July.
The CDC noted that in nations where monkeypox has spread, the pattern of sexual transmission seen in the current case in the US is not unusual. For instance, in Africa, 40% of cases are reported by women and 60% by men. In Africa, monkeypox has been a problem since the 1970s.
In the US, cases are made up of 35% white, non-Hispanic people, 28% Black people, and 33% Hispanic people when race and ethnicity are taken into account. Additionally, 35 is the median age.