Biden Administration Announces First Phase Of National Monkeypox Vaccine Strategy

The Biden Administration has announced the first phase of its national monkeypox vaccine strategy, a critical part of its monkeypox outbreak response.

The vaccine strategy will help immediately address the spread of the virus by providing vaccines across the country to individuals at high risk. This phase of the strategy aims to rapidly deploy vaccines in the most affected communities and mitigate the spread of the disease.

The U.S. government’s response is coordinated by the National Security Council Directorate on Global Health Security and Biodefense – more commonly known as the White House Pandemic Office, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

HHS has received requests from 32 states and jurisdictions, deploying over 9,000 doses of vaccine and 300 courses of antiviral smallpox treatments.

The government is significantly expanding deployment of vaccines, allocating 296,000 doses over the coming weeks, 56,000 of which will be allocated immediately. Over the coming months a combined 1.6 million additional doses will become available.

The CDC has since scaled testing capacity to 78 sites in 48 states, primarily at state public health laboratories, with spare capacity to conduct nearly 10,000 tests per week nationwide.

HHS will immediately allocate 56,000 vaccine doses currently in the Strategic National Stockpile to states and territories across the country, prioritizing jurisdictions with the highest number of cases and population at risk.

In the coming weeks, HHS expects to receive an additional 240,000 vaccines. It will hold another 60,000 vaccines in reserve.

HHS is increasing the availability of doses by leveraging its long-standing partnership with the manufacturer of JYNNEOS to expand vaccine supply and by accelerating completion and shipment of doses to the United States. HHS expects more than 750,000 doses to be made available over the summer. An additional 500,000 doses will undergo completion, inspection, and release throughout the fall, totaling 1.6 million doses available this year.

To supplement the supply of JYNNEOS, states and territories may also request a second vaccine, ACAM2000. ACAM2000 is FDA-approved for protection against smallpox, caused by the variola virus. ACAM2000 is also believed to confer protection against monkeypox.

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