Millions of monkeypox shots may not arrive in the US until 2023 because no company can put the doses in bottles to ship
- The US might have to wait until 2023 for some doses of the monkeypox vaccine to be ready for distribution, Politico reported.
- The Biden administration has secured the doses, but hasn't secured a deal with companies to bottle them.
The US is waiting on millions of doses of the monkeypox vaccine to ship from Denmark, but the process may be delayed because the Biden administration can't find a company to bottle the shots, Politico reported.
It could take three to six months for the vaccines to be ready for distribution, meaning the US might have to wait until 2023 to see its full shipment of doses, according to the report.
As many as 12 million vaccines are being stored in a stockpile in Denmark and the US has so far secured just over 1 million of them. But, the administration has to finalize deals with companies in the US to "fill and finish" vaccines to get them ready for distribution.
How long that takes depends on how many vaccines the US decides to take from the stockpile and how quickly they can finalize the deals, a senior administration official told Politico. Even after they're bottled, US regulators will likely have to inspect the doses — possibly pushing the process to be even longer.
A Health and Human Services (HHS) official told Politico the government is "exploring multiple avenues to accelerate production and distribution."
The US needs about 3.2 million doses to fully vaccinate the 1.6 million "at-risk" Americans, according to the report, since vaccination requires two doses per person. That means the US is currently short at least 2.2 million doses of the vaccine.
To stretch the supply, the FDA this week authorized doctors to split doses among people — using one vial for up to five patients. But even that is just a temporary solution, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, deputy coordinator of the White House's National Monkeypox Response, said on Tuesday.
"I think we're going to see that we will likely still run out of vaccines before we run out of arms," Daskalakis said at a White House press briefing.
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