US Government Orders Additional Smallpox-Monkeypox Vaccines
The U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has exercised the final $12 million option for JYNNEOS, an innovative combination of Smallpox and Monkeypox vaccine.
JYNNEOS is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved non-replicating smallpox and monkeypox vaccine for preventing disease in adults 18 years of age and older.
Initially awarded in April 2020, this option covers the supply of additional liquid-frozen JYNNEOS doses manufactured in Denmark-based Bavarian Nordic A/S’s new fill and finish facility 2021.
The JYNNEOS vaccine is based on a live, attenuated vaccinia virus (Modified Vaccinia Ankara, MVA-BN), incapable of replicating in the body, yet still capable of eliciting a potent immune response.
The MVA is cultured in Chicken Embryo Fibroblast cells placed in a serum-free medium. It is purified and filtered from the cells using various methods, including benzonase digestion.
Paul Chaplin, President and CEO of Bavarian Nordic, commented in a press statement issued on May 6, 2021, “Our contracts with BARDA have been foundational for establishing sustainable manufacturing and supply of critical vaccines for protecting the United States of America.”
“This year, we are launching operations in our newly established fill and finish plant, which enables us to bring the final step of commercial manufacturing of JYNNEOS in-house as the first product on the line, marking a significant milestone in our long-standing partnership with the U.S. government.”
This project has been supported in part with federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under Contract No. HHSO100201700019C.
Currently, the smallpox vaccine is not recommended for the general public because smallpox has been eradicated. If there were a smallpox outbreak, US health officials would use a smallpox vaccine to control it, says the U.S. CDC.
Furthermore, there is enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate every person in the USA.
Furthermore, tecovirimat and cidofovir are currently stockpiled by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Strategic National Stockpile, which has medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency, including one involving smallpox, says the CDC.
Routine smallpox vaccination among the American public stopped in 1972 after the disease was eradicated in the USA.
The origin of smallpox is unknown. The finding of smallpox-like rashes on Egyptian mummies suggests that smallpox has existed for at least 3,000 years. The earliest written description of a disease like smallpox appeared in China in the 4th century CE (Common Era). Early written descriptions also appeared in India in the 7th century and Asia Minor in the 10th century, says the CDC.
Bavarian Nordic, located in Copenhagen, is a fully integrated vaccines company focused on developing, manufacturing, and commercializing life-saving vaccines.
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