Activists demand monkeypox vaccine maker share recipe, as world scrambles for jabs

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Activists have called on the maker of the only approved vaccine for monkeypox to share how to produce the vaccine as well as to license other companies to complete the final stage of the manufacturing process, as countries around the world face shortages. 

In a letter to Bavarian Nordic’s CEO, Global Justice Now, Just Treatment and Stop Aids call on the company to license capable manufacturers to fill and finish the vaccine currently sitting in bulk doses held by the manufacturer. They also ask Bavarian Nordic to share the know-how behind the vaccine to increase production and supply. 

“It is clear that you will be unable to produce sufficient quantities of the monkeypox vaccine, known as Jynneos or Imvanex, to meet the world’s needs, not least because of the disruption of your production lines through your refurbishment project,” they write in the letter. The campaigners point to the U.K. as an example of a country that is on the verge of running out of stocks of the vaccine as well as the fact that no jabs are available on the African continent. 

“This vaccine was made with substantial funding from the public sector and Bavarian Nordic will make a considerable profit from this vaccine in the year ahead,” they write. “As such, our call today should not pose any threat to your business.” 

Bavarian Nordic declined comment. The Danish company told POLITICO at the end of July that reports on limited vaccine supply were just “rumors.” The company said at the time that countries that have asked for doses have received them, but acknowledged that most of the millions of doses held in bulk belonged to the U.S.

Washington has through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) invested hundreds of millions of dollars into developing and stockpiling the Jynneos vaccine, which was originally created to target smallpox.