The European Union will sign on Tuesday an agreement to purchase 110,000 doses of vaccine to combat the ongoing outbreak of monkeypox, a senior EU official said.
"Today, we will conclude a contract for nearly 110,000 monkeypox vaccine doses. Funded by EU4Health, they will be available quickly to Member States most in need," European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides tweeted.
Speaking on the sidelines of an EU health ministers meeting in Luxembourg, Kyriakides said deliveries will begin by the end of June.
While COVID-19 vaccines were procured by the European Commission but paid individually by EU countries, the monkeypox contract will be initially funded under the common EU budget.
"This is the first time that we're using EU funds in order to purchase vaccines that we can then distribute to member states," the commissioner said. "This shows what we can (do) when we work together and the power of having the structures in place so that we can immediately respond to a crisis such as we have now."
She said the EU currently has 900 cases of the rare zoonotic disease, with nearly 1,400 cases worldwide.
The current outbreak was detected in early May, and cases have been confirmed in 28 countries, according to the latest update by the World Health Organization.