Two Minute Tuesday – August 9, 2022

Monkeypox Vaccination and COVID World News

It’s been nearly three years since the first cases of the coronavirus were detected in China. Since then, the disease has spread around the globe, causing more than one million deaths in the United States and almost six and a half million deaths worldwide, transforming our lives in unprecedented ways.

We’ve been tracking university experts in health care, environmental science and engineering, education, labor, and business to analyze what we have learned since the onset of COVID-19 and what we might continue to expect in the future.

We have learned a valuable lesson during these past few years: staying safe involves taking health precautions. In terms of health and wellness, we are better equipped than ever before. 

However, there are some current health concerns that deserve special attention. Monkeypox is one of them.

What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?

People with Monkeypox may first develop flu-like illness with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and enlarged lymph nodes. After a few days, a characteristic rash may appear, which can look like blisters or pimples throughout the body. In rare instances, blisters or pimples may be so painful that they require hospitalization for pain management. Monkeypox may cause all or only some of these symptoms. In most cases, the illness resolves without the need for specific treatment within 2 to 4 weeks.

The number of Monkeypox cases reported globally exceeds 30,189 and 8,934 cases that the U.S. is currently facing.

What do we know about Monkeypox
vaccination in the US?

The federal government has shipped more than 602,000 doses of Jynneos monkeypox vaccines—the only shot specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to protect against monkeypox—to states and cities across the country since May, with more than 100,000 delivered to some of the hardest hit locations, after the White House declared the virus a public health emergency last week to confront vaccine shortages as cases mount.

When will the Monkeypox vaccine shortage end? 

Why is the monkeypox vaccine pipeline leaving everyone short? In a desperately untimely twist of fate, Bavarian Nordic, a fully integrated vaccine company focused on the development, manufacturing and commercialization of life-saving vaccines, closed its bulk manufacturing facility in the spring of 2022 to focus on its other vaccine products, including vaccines for rabies and encephalitis. 

The company had expected to reopen the facility in the third quarter of this year, and it is “reopening as we speak,” Thomas Duschek, communications partner for Bavarian Nordic, said in a recent interview. He stated that it will be operating at full speed within the next month or so, and will be reopening with two production lines as opposed to the previous one. The company is also considering moving to a 24-hour production cycle to meet demands, although this hasn’t happened yet, Duschek says. Bavarian Nordic may also postpone the production of other vaccines to prioritize production of the monkeypox vaccine. 

The company is also looking at contracting other manufacturers to ramp up production. It has already inked a deal with a US company, the name of which remains confidential. The problem is that the vaccine is complex to make, so it would take months for another manufacturer to get up to speed. Even at Bavarian Nordic, Duschek reckons it will be half a year at minimum before newly produced vaccines start being shipped.

COVID-19 News from the U.S. and globally 

While COVID numbers continue to rise across the United States, it may be a good idea to check out the CDC’s heat map, and don’t forget to take some simple preventive measures.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have passed 584.6 million globally, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed deaths has now passed 6.41 million. More than 12.4 billion vaccination doses have been administered globally, according to Our World in Data.

New COVID-19 restrictions imposed across China, while Russia reported 20,303 new COVID-19 cases on 7 August. Hong Kong relaxes COVID quarantine rules for inbound travelers, and confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to fall in the United Kingdom, dropping by more than half a million in a week, to 2.6 million.

Stay healthy and get tested

As we wait for developing news about Monkeypox and regulations for the United States, let’s not forget to take care of ourselves and those we love.

Always be mindful to follow standard precautions when interacting with the public. Washing your hands frequently and getting tested are two simple ways to make a huge difference.

Still have questions?

Gone are the days of crowded waiting rooms, daunting hospitals, and cold exam tables. At Rume, we offer care on your terms, where and when you need it, including telemedicine, drive thrus, and popups. You’ll get quick results and trusted insights.