Monkeypox vaccine manufacturer plant is closed until late summer, straining supply

Bavarian Nordic is the nation's main supplier for the only FDA-approved monkeypox vaccine, Jynneos, but the company isn't running at full capacity, The New York Times reported July 1.

One of the vaccine manufacturer's plants has been under construction since August 2021 and isn't expected to operate again until the end of summer — a setback that could delay the monkeypox response for months, experts warn. 

Bavarian Nordic has distributed "a very small inventory of finished products" but has met every order so far, company CEO Paul Chaplin told the Times.

The world's reliance on a company that can't operate at full speed worries some health experts. 

"I want to underscore the absurdity of relying on one single manufacturer to be the global supplier for a vaccine that is needed to curb outbreaks," Zain Rizvi, who studies access to medicines at the advocacy group Public Citizen, told the Times. "It's so stupid that we're back in this situation."

The U.S. has 56,000 Jynneos doses immediately available, with 296,000 more planned to be ready in the next few weeks. By the end of 2022, the vaccine manufacturer is set to deliver nearly 2 million doses. 

As of July 1, the CDC has confirmed 460 monkeypox cases spanning 30 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territory Puerto Rico. The World Health Organization said June 25 the monkeypox outbreak is not a global health emergency.

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