Authorities are rushing to secure vaccines as the incidence of the rare monkeypox virus continues to rise in the United States and Europe.
After a man in Massachusetts was diagnosed with a rare but potentially serious illness earlier this week, U.S. health authorities signed a 119 million contract as a vaccine dose against the monkeypox virus.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) – a government agency dedicated to combating epidemics and bio-terrorism – signed a multi-million dollar deal with Danish pharma firm Bavarian Nordic on Wednesday, the company announced in a statement.
The $ 119 million contract is a series of contract options that could eventually reach a total of $ 299 million if practiced, in exchange for about 13 million freeze-dry dose Jynneos vaccines. It was originally made for smallpox, but was approved for use against monkeypox by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019, just months before the first case of Covid-19 was detected in China.
The initial delivery for the Jynneos shots will not come until 2023, with the company saying that a full 13 million doses will be ready between 2024 and 2025 if BARDA agrees to extend the contract.
The first monkeypox case in the United States was confirmed Wednesday by a man who recently traveled to Canada. Federal health officials say they are monitoring six more people after they came across an infected traveler during a flight from Nigeria to the UK earlier this month, while another possible case is being investigated by the New York City Department of Health.
A number of suspected or confirmed infections have also been reported in Britain, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Sweden in recent weeks. Australia has just identified its first case.
On Thursday, Bavarian Nordic announced that it had reached an agreement “Unpublished European countries” For the same dual-use Smallpox vaccine – although offered under different branding – “In response to MonkeyPix’s new lawsuit.” The company did not specify how many doses would be collected for the contract or provide an overall price tag.
In addition to the vaccine, the U.S. government has also gone on to buy a dose of Tecovirimet, the standard antiviral treatment for monkeypox, the Department of Defense last week signed a $ 7.5 million contract for the drug with the American pharmaceutical firm SIGA Technologies.
A vein of the same antiviral received FDA approval for the treatment of smallpox on Thursday, although SIGA said version IV “A recent US presidential budget request cited the use of monkeypox in the United States to treat patients.”
Although rare, the monkeypox has previously been detected in the United States, after a Texas resident was hospitalized with the virus last summer after traveling to West Africa, where the pathogen is localized. In 2003, more than 70 cases were confirmed in the United States, the first outbreak outside Africa, according to the World Health Organization.
Early symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and fatigue, and although most infections resolve without serious illness, the virus is fatal in a small percentage of cases.
Rare diseases spread in Europe
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