U.S. Government Places $119 Million Order for 13 Million Monkeypox Vaccines After Confirmed Massachusetts Infection

“I do think we are preparing for the possibility of more cases,” says CDC.

  • On Wednesday, Massachusetts reported a rare case of monkeypox in a man who had recently traveled to Canada.
  • The U.S. government immediately responded by ordering millions of doses of a vaccine that protects against the virus from biotech company Bavarian Nordic, which has worked with the U.S. government since 2003.
  • The vaccine manufacturer announced a $119 million order placed by the U.S., with an option to buy $180 million more, at which point the deal would amount to approximately 13 million doses.
  • “I do think we are preparing for the possibility of more [monkeypox] cases,” said Jennifer McQuiston of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • The government placed the large order even though, according to officials, the Massachusetts case poses no risk to the public and the infected resident is hospitalized but in good condition.

“We are pleased to announce the exercise of the first options under our contract with the U.S. government to deliver a freeze-dried version of the smallpox vaccine with an improved shelf-life, which will be manufactured at our new fill and finish facility,” said Paul Chaplin, President and CEO of Bavarian Nordic said. “This marks a significant milestone in our long-standing partnership with the U.S. government to ensure availability of life-saving vaccines for the entire population.”

  • Monkeypox is typically limited to Africa, though a small number of confirmed or suspected cases have been reported this month in the U.K., Portugal, and Spain.
  • The Massachusetts man had traveled to Canada using private transportation at the end of April to meet friends, returning in early May.
  • Bavarian Nordic is owned in part by BlackRock and Vanguard.