Snap analysis by Shyam Bishen – Head of Health and Healthcare at the World Economic Forum – on the new WHO designation of Monkeypox.

With 16,000 cases in 75 countries, the monkeypox outbreak is spreading rapidly across the world. In response, the WHO has just declared it a global public health emergency. This declaration clearly signals the need for a coordinated international response, the timely investment of significant resources, and intensified cross-border collaboration in terms of vaccines, treatments and other key resources in order to control and counter this emerging outbreak.

“Fortunately, vaccines and drugs developed for smallpox may work well against monkeypox. But supply is limited. While we encourage nations to share vaccines, treatments and other key resources for containing the outbreak, we believe that multistakeholder partnerships between the private sector, governments, and international organizations are crucial in order to quickly scale-up vaccine and treatment production for this disease.
The effectiveness of existing vaccines is clearly encouraging news in the fight against monkeypox, but as with COVID-19, equitable distribution and access to vaccines will remain a key challenge globally, due to uneven rollout and uptake rates between high-income and low-and-middle-income countries. To counter this challenge, the World Economic Forum – in partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the US National Academy of Medicine – has launched the Distributed Vaccine Manufacturing Collaborative. The Collaborative addresses inequitable vaccine access by supporting the establishment of a sustainable and robust global network of versatile vaccine manufacturing facilities capable of producing vaccines that can better protect individuals in pandemic and non-pandemic times.
Until countries globally can respond and adapt to the latest vaccine and drug manufacturing technologies through localized manufacturing capabilities and close the access gap, the world will remain at risk of current and future emerging diseases – such as monkeypox. We are convinced that this Collaborative – and international multi-stakeholder partnerships more broadly – will be vital towards countering this new global public health emergency and improving health equity across the world.”

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