Monkeypox vaccine: US health regulators green light 800,000 more doses

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US health regulators on Wednesday confirmed that 800,000 doses of much-needed monkeypox vaccine would soon be available for distribution.

The announcement comes almost two weeks after the Food and Drug Administration said it had completed the necessary checks in Bavarian Nordic factory in Denmarkwhere the company fills vials with vaccine.

FILE - A health worker prepares a monkeypox vaccine in Montreal, July 23, 2022.

FILE – A health worker prepares a monkeypox vaccine in Montreal, July 23, 2022.
(Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP, file)

“In response to emerging public health needs, the FDA has previously facilitated the shipment of manufactured doses to the US to be ready for distribution once manufacturing changes have been approved,” the FDA tweeted after confirming that certification had been completed.

The United States has already sent over 310,000 doses of the two-shot vaccine. Ginneos vaccine to state and local health departments. But clinics in San Francisco, New York and other major cities say they still don’t have enough shots to meet demand.

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The head of the US Department of Health and Human Services said on Wednesday that officials will announce additional appropriations on Thursday.

The monkeypox virus is mainly spread by skin-to-skin contact, but it can also be spread through touching bedding used by an infected person. The vast majority of reported cases are in men who have sex with men.

People wait to receive a monkeypox vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Manhattan, July 26, 2022, in New York City.

People wait to receive a monkeypox vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Manhattan, July 26, 2022, in New York City.
(Photo by Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images)

People with monkeypox may experience fever, body aches, chills, and fatigue. Many people have developed pimples on their bodies that look like pimples.

The doses sent earlier came from a separate facility in Denmark that already had FDA clearance. An additional 786,000 doses made at the newly opened Bavarian Scandinavian facility were awaiting US certification announced on Wednesday.

The FDA requires inspections of all vaccine manufacturing plants to ensure safety, sterility and consistency of production.

US officials announced orders for another 5 million doses this month, though most are not expected to arrive until next year.

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Officials have recommended that people who know or suspect they have contracted monkeypox in the previous two weeks be vaccinated.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.