Campaigners call on Monkeypox vaccine company to share recipe and scale up production
A vaccine dose held in front on the Bavarian Nordic logo

Campaigners call on Monkeypox vaccine company to share recipe and scale up production

Date: 15 August 2022
Campaigns: Pharma

‘We cannot manage public health crises in this way’ says Global Justice Now, as UK is on verge of running out of vaccines, and Africa left without a single shot

Campaigners from Global Justice Now, Just Treatment and Stop Aids have written to Bavarian Nordic, the sole supplier of the monkeypox vaccine currently being rolled out across North America and Europe, demanding that it openly share the know-how behind its vaccine with factories around the world.

Global Justice Now believes the Danish company’s control of the vaccine is artificially limiting supplies which are desperately needed to prevent the disease from becoming endemic across large parts of the world. They note that the UK is likely to run out of doses in the next couple of weeks, while the whole African continent has not received a single dose.

The monkeypox vaccine known as Jynneos received substantial funding from the US government but, like most modern medicines, the drug’s property rights are owned by a single company, which can decide who can produce the medicine and who can buy it. A similar situation with Covid-19 vaccines saw massive global inequality in distribution as a handful of multinational corporations controlled supply and sold the majority of doses to rich countries.

Bavarian Nordic expressed interest in producing a Covid-19 vaccine early in the pandemic but was unable to do so as none of the vaccine makers would share the rights or knowledge. The company has been hamstrung by the closure of part of its assembly line this year, limiting the supplies they could produce, while the overwhelming bulk of sales has been made to the US.

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said:

“We cannot continue to manage public health crises like this. Effectively the health of people across the world is being subjugated to the profits of pharmaceutical companies. While this is a very different disease, in this important respect it’s like Covid all over again. 

“If we had any interest in the lives of people across the global south, this disease would never have become a wider problem. There are factories in the global south right now that are actively seeking orders for new vaccines. There is no excuse for not openly licensing this vaccine, and sharing the know-how. If the disease becomes endemic, people will die, and the responsibility will lie with this pharmaceutical system.”    


Contact Frances Leach for spokespeople/further information on the GJN Pharma campaign on +447761386244

Global Justice Now is a UK-based campaigning organisation.

Photo: Davide Bonaldo/Shutterstock