The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Monday announced it is providing about $11 million of funding to support domestic production of the Jynneos smallpox vaccine being used to limit the spread of the ongoing monkeypox outbreak.
HHS said in a statement that the funds would be used to support manufacturing at Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM) in Grand Rapids, Mich.
According to the department, these funds will allow GRAM to purchase additional equipment necessary to manufacture the smallpox vaccine as well as help accelerate production.
“This new agreement solidifies a domestic manufacturing capability that will bring us more vaccine sooner to end this outbreak,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.
The announcement comes a little over a week after an agreement between GRAM and Bavarian Nordic, the Danish company that makes Jynneos, was made public. HHS said this agreement would allow for 2.5 million of the 5.5 million ordered Jynneos vials to be filled within the U.S.
Last week, health authorities both in the U.S. and on the global stage said there were early indications that monkeypox cases were beginning to trend downward.
During a briefing on monkeypox last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said, “There are certain jurisdictions — New York, Chicago, San Francisco — that are starting to report that they’re starting to see a downward trend. I want to be cautiously optimistic about these.”
According to the most recent federal data, around 200,000 first doses of Jynneos have been administered in the U.S. so far. Nearly all shots being administered in the U.S. are first doses, with many cities only recently starting to inject second doses.
About 92 percent of Jynneos vaccine doses have been administered to men.
Source: The Hill