Paul Bersebach—MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images
November 10, 2022 6:20 AM EST

Bavarian Nordic wanted its Jynneos vaccine to be a safer alternative to older smallpox shots, which carry serious side effect risks. Monkeypox wasn’t the vaccine maker’s focus until it applied for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in 2018 and regulators suggested licensing Jynneos for use against both viruses, since company scientists had used monkeypox as a proxy for the eradicated smallpox virus. That suggestion proved prescient this year, when monkeypox cases exploded across the globe—and the EU authorized the vaccine’s use for preventing that disease. Though access to Jynneos has been spotty, particularly outside wealthy Western countries, Bavarian Nordic is contracted to deliver more than 10 million doses globally in 2022 and 2023.

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Write to Jamie Ducharme at jamie.ducharme@time.com.

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