Moderna Inc. said on Monday that it testing potential vaccines against monkeypox in pre-clinical trials as the disease spreads in the United States and Europe.
Several cases or possible cases have been reported in the United States, including in Massachusetts, New York City, Utah, and Florida.
"Underscoring this commitment, and as monkeypox is of global public health importance as identified by the WHO, we are investigating potential monkeypox vaccines at a preclinical level," Moderna said.
Moderna did not provide further details regarding its trials on monkeypox vaccines.
The Epoch Times has contacted Moderna for comment.
Made by Denmark-based biotech group Bavarian Nordic, the Jynneos vaccine is approved in the United States to be used against smallpox and monkeypox in people aged 18 and over who are at high risk of infection.
"Right now we are hoping to maximize vaccine distribution to those that we know would benefit from it," McQuiston said. "So those are people who’ve had contact with known monkeypox patients, health care workers, very close personal contacts, and those in particular who might be at high risk for severe disease."
"I can report that there has been a request for release of the Jynneos vaccine from the national stockpile for some of the high-risk contacts of some of the early patients. So that is actively happening right now," she added.
Monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans from animals and is similar to smallpox, although it is clinically less severe than smallpox.
It is endemic to several African countries, typically those in close proximity to tropical rainforests, and spreads from one person to another through close contact with bodily fluids, lesions, respiratory droplets, and contaminated materials.
A number of individuals who have been diagnosed in the current outbreak have been homosexual men, WHO officials have said, although the virus itself is not a sexually transmitted infection and can be caught by anyone.