Monkeypox vaccine is in stock "in many countries" and can be used against monkeypox, both before and after exposure to the virus, says Bavarian Nordic's vice president.
As the lone laboratory manufacturing a licensed vaccine against monkeypox, Danish company Bavarian Nordic has seen its order book fill up as the usually rare disease spreads around the world.
"The approval we got in 2019, when we only sold maybe a few hundred doses, all of a sudden became very, very relevant for international health," the company's vice president Rolf Sass Sorensen says with a smile at the biotech company's headquarters in Copenhagen's harbour.
Bavarian Nordic was caught by surprise by the disease's sudden spread earlier this year to dozens of countries outside West and Central Africa where it had previously been generally confined.
But Sorensen says he is confident the company can meet global demand even though it only has one production facility.
"With the current demand we can easily supply the global market. We have a couple of million doses in bulk that we can put into vials and make sure that the current outbreak is handled," he told AFP in an interview.
Bavarian Nordic has an annual production capacity of 30 million vaccine doses.
The Danish company's smallpox vaccine, marketed as Imvanex in Europe, Jynneos in the US and Imvamune in Canada, is a third-generation serum (a live vaccine that does not replicate in the human body).
It was designed against smallpox in adults, a disease considered eradicated some 40 years ago, and requires two doses for inoculation.
The World Health Organization said last week that Europe remained the epicentre of the global monkeypox outbreak.
The UN health body is due to hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to determine whether to classify the global monkeypox outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern.
World clamouring for vaccine
According to Sorensen, the vaccine is in stock "in many countries" and can also be used against monkeypox, both before and after exposure to the virus.
"If you are vaccinated a few days after you are exposed, you can also be protected", he explained.
After getting the green light from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) three years ago to use its smallpox vaccine against monkeypox, Bavarian Nordic is now applying to do the same in Europe.
The European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), created by the European Commission during the Covid-19 pandemic, has already bought more than 100,000 doses for the 27 EU countries as well as Norway and Iceland.
The first deliveries are due at the end of June for those countries deemed a priority.