The United States government has ordered 13 million monkeypox vaccines from a European pharmaceutical company after a Massachusetts man became the first American diagnosed with the virus in the pox family in 2022.
On Thursday, Newsweek reported that the U.S. government bought $119 million of Jynneos vaccines from biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic, which makes the vaccine, on Wednesday.
Bavarian Nordic announced in a press release on Wednesday that “the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has exercised the first options under the contract to supply a freeze-dried version of JYNNEOS® smallpox vaccine, thus allowing for the first doses of this version to be manufactured and invoiced in 2023 and 2024.”
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts Department of Health stated that “Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body.”
“Most infections last 2-to-4 weeks. In parts of central and west Africa where monkeypox occurs, people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or possibly animal products,” the government agency added.
The virus does not easily spread between people, according to the data.
“Transmission can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact,” MDH said.
While this is the first case of monkeypox in the U.S. in 2022, in the United Kingdom, nine men were diagnosed last month alone. The virus appears to be, in part, sexually transmitted.
“Based on findings of the Massachusetts case and the recent cases in the UK, clinicians should consider a diagnosis of monkeypox in people who present with an otherwise unexplained rash and 1) traveled, in the last 30 days, to a country that has recently had confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox 2) report contact with a person or people with confirmed or suspected monkeypox, or 3) is a man who reports sexual contact with other men,” MDH explained.