HHS Buys Next Generation Smallpox Vaccine
HHS has awarded a contract for $500 million to Bavarian Nordic A/S of Copenhagen, Denmark to manufacture and deliver 20 million doses of a next generation modified vaccinia Ankara smallpox vaccine.
The vaccine would be recommended in the event of a smallpox outbreak to protect people in the United States who have weakened immune systems. The full supply of the vaccine will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile, a reserve of large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency.
"To protect ourselves from the remote but extremely grave threat of a deliberate release of smallpox virus, we need vaccines that can be safely given to all Americans, including individuals with weakened immune systems," Secretary Leavitt said. "Acquiring a stockpile of this new smallpox vaccine is a key step toward protecting even more members of the American public against a smallpox release."
As part of HHS' comprehensive strategy to address the public health threat of a smallpox outbreak, the Strategic National Stockpile currently contains sufficient smallpox vaccine for every American.