FACT CHECK: Did The FDA Approve A Pfizer Monkeypox Vaccine?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a vaccine for monkeypox produced by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

Verdict: False

Pfizer has not produced a monkeypox vaccine nor has the FDA approved any such vaccine.

Fact Check: 

The monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, is currently spreading around the globe, according to CNN. The World Health Organization has identified 257 confirmed cases of the virus across 23 nations, the outlet reported.

An image shared on Facebook shows a screenshot of a tweet that claims the FDA recently approved a vaccine for the virus produced by Pfizer. “Just to be clear… One case of ‘MonkeyPox’ was found in Massachusetts this week… In less than 48 hours the United States Government had purchased 13 million MonkeyPox vaccines for $119 million,” reads the tweet. “A day later, Pfizer received FDA approval for a New Monkey Pox Vaccine..”

There is no evidence Pfizer has created a monkeypox vaccine. Nothing about the alleged vaccine can be found on the company’s website. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla recently said he “wouldn’t worry much” about the current monkeypox outbreak, according to CNBC.

Julia Cohen, a senior manager for global relations at Pfizer, told Check Your Fact in an email the company “does not currently have a vaccine for monkeypox in development or approved by the FDA or an active program in place.” (RELATED: No, Australia’s Prime Minister Did Not Fake Getting The Covid-19 Vaccine) 

“Jynneos is the only vaccine approved by the FDA for the prevention of monkeypox,” said FDA spokesperson Abby Capobianco in an email to Check Your Fact.

Jynneos, which is manufactured by Bavarian Nordic, was approved in 2019 and protects against both monkeypox and smallpox, according to a 2019 FDA press release. The FDA website does not list any new vaccines that have been approved for monkeypox or smallpox since Jynneos.

The U.S. government, through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), did recently purchase 13 million Jynneos vaccines, according to a press release from Bavarian Nordic. However, the order is unrelated to the current monkeypox outbreak, a spokesperson for the company said.

“Our recent order from BARDA as you refer to has no relation whatsoever to the current monkeypox outbreak,” a spokesperson told the Associated Press. “We have worked with the US government and BARDA for almost 20 years to develop and supply a non-replicating smallpox vaccine for the national stockpile in the event of a bioterror attack or natural re-emergence of smallpox.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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