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Guest post by John Hughes
The WHO and CDC continue to push the narrative that monkeypox is a global pandemic in the making and that vaccinations are needed urgently. At present, 2 vaccines exist for monkeypox – JYNNEOS and ACAM2000.
JYNNEOS is a newer vaccine, made by Bavarian Nordic. It was approved in 2019 for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox and is the preferred vaccine due to the belief it is safer for immunocompromised patients and patients with a few other health concerns. Despite denying that monkeypox is an STD, there is concern that many at highest risk have HIV due to sexual practices/orientation. Under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), it requires 2 injections 28 days apart. The US has contracted for several million doses of JYNNEOS. Known side effects include myocarditis. JYNNEOS is in short supply.
ACAM2000 is an older vaccine, approved in 2007 for smallpox prevention, and is administered in a one-time procedure. Patients can get myocarditis and CDC stated contraindications include hiv, pregnancy, immunocompromise, chronic skin conditions. The US currently has 200 million doses of ACAM2000 in a national stockpile and the CDC has approved it for smallpox under Expanded Access Investigational New Drug (EA-IND) policy. Both are recommended based on antibody response and animal trials. Interestingly, the CDC admits that “No data are currently available on the clinical efficacy or effectiveness of JYNNEOS or ACAM2000 vaccines in the current outbreak.”
The US military administered dryvax, a similar smallpox vaccine to ACAM2000 to servicemembers during combat deployments. One study of the enterprise reported that between December 2002 and October 2003, the DOD admistered over 438,000 doses. 10 doses were inadvertently given to HIV positive servicemembers, none had any ill effects and all 10 had a robust immune response. Dryvax’s safety profile is believed to be similar to ACAM2000. According to the White Housen Plan released 28 JUN 2022, “ACAM2000 carries greater risk of certain serious side effects than JYNNEOS and cannot be provided to individuals who are immunocompromised or who have heart disease.”
This begs the question why the CDC favors JYNNEOS over ACAM2000 (of which the US has hundreds of millions of doses on hand), especially since it seemed unconcerned and suppressed adverse outcome reporting for the covid vaccine until a judge ordered its release. Also, ACAM2000 has the same safety profile as dryvax and dryvax was already given safely to HIV positive individuals, so that argument isn’t sound to justify the new expensive vaccine. Further, the CDC could do a rapid HIV test for at risk people and if they are that concerned about side effects given JYNNEOS just to HIV positive people and give ACAM2000 to everyone else. Again, the US military accidentally disproved that concern 20 years ago.
Neither vaccine has been tested in humans to prevent monkeypox. Theoretical efficacy comes from animal testing. JYNNEOS shows no superiority of effect in animal testing over ACAM2000. It is unclear why the CDC and WHO are pushing for the JYNNEOS vaccine to be rapidly procured and pushed out for use globally. Monkeypox is not an existential threat to humanity like Covid was purported to be. Avoidance of high-risk sexual activity is a no cost and easy way to prevent spreading it. It is unclear why this untested, unproved vaccine is being championed. Perhaps is the intention to just to keep conditioning citizens around the world to dutifully take vaccines without data and without question and continue the increasingly totalitarian posture of world governments?
John Hughes, MD
USMA Class of 1996
3rd Generation West Pointer
4 combat tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan