Stocks related to the treatment of monkeypox are heating up today on news that the U.S. is building a vaccine stockpile and will offer vaccine appointments to individuals who are at risk of contracting the virus.
The U.S. is reportedly ordering doses of a monkeypox vaccine from biotechnology company Bavarian Nordic (OTCMKTS:BVNRY). The Danish company’s stock is up more than 3% today on news of the order from the U.S. government. Other stocks related to the treatment of monkeypox are also trending higher today, including Emergent Biosolutions (NYSE:EBS), Chimerix (NASDAQ:CMRX), and SIGA Technologies (NASDAQ:SIGA).
The U.S. government said it will deploy 300,000 monekypox vaccine doses in the coming weeks to help safeguard Americans against the virus that has been spreading around the world over the last month. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending that anyone who may have exposed to the monkeypox virus get vaccinated immediately. To be effective, people should be vaccinated within two weeks of coming into contact with monkeypox, the sooner someone is vaccinated the better, said the CDC.
There have been 306 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the U.S., occurring in 27 states and Washington, D.C., according to the CDC. The largest outbreaks have been in California, Illinois and New York. However, there have been no reported deaths in the U.S. from the virus. Monkeypox symptoms include skin blisters and a fever, and most people who contract the illness recover within a month of being infected. Worldwide, more than 4,700 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 49 countries with only one death reported in Nigeria. However, while deaths are low, the current outbreak is unusual in that it is happening in North America and Europe. Historically, monkeypox has been spread primarily in Central Africa.
Why It Matters
That the U.S. is moving to stockpile vaccines and beginning to offer vaccinations to people who may have come into contact with monkeypox is positive for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that develop treatments for the disease. And so their stocks are rising today. Demand for vaccines against monkeypox could grow in coming weeks and months should the current outbreak grow and infect more people around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the current monkeypox outbreak represents an evolving threat that needs to be monitored. The WHO however, does not yet consider monkeypox to be a global health emergency.
Monkeypox spreads through close physical contact, including from sex as well as from contaminated bed sheets and clothing. However, unlike Covid-19, monkeypox does not easily spread through respiratory droplets and it is not nearly as deadly as the coronavirus. Monkeypox symptoms can be similar to the flu and include a fever and headache. A rash that looks like pimples or blisters forms on the body later on. Global demand for monkeypox vaccinations could help to boost sales at the various companies that make them and lead to higher share prices for stocks such as BVNRY, EBS, CMRX, SIGA, and others.
What’s Next for Monkeypox Stocks
While monkeypox is not a global health crisis on the scale of the Covid-19 pandemic, the virus is spreading around the world and infecting a growing number of people. As infection rates rise, governments are taking steps to stockpile vaccines and inoculate citizens. This is not only positive for the general public but also for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that make the monkeypox vaccines. Should demand grow for monkeypox vaccines, the stock prices of these companies are likely to continue rising.
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On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.