After supplies of the vaccine ran out in New York City and Washington, D.C., the Biden administration launched the “first phase” of a nationwide monkeypox vaccination campaign.
Although there have only been 306 verified cases of monkeypox in the US, there are likely many more, and smallpox vaccines are pretty efficient at protecting against the virus.
“To date, HHS has received requests from 32 states and jurisdictions, deploying over 9,000 doses of vaccine and 300 courses of antiviral smallpox treatments,” the White House said.
“With today’s national monkeypox vaccine strategy, the United States is significantly expanding deployment of vaccines, allocating 296,000 doses over the coming weeks, 56,000 of which will be allocated immediately. Over the coming months, a combined 1.6 million additional doses will become available.”
During a White House teleconference, an official informed reporters that approximately 800,000 doses would be imported in early July, and another 500,000 doses have just been arranged.
According to Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, Doctors should perform more viral tests.
“I strongly encourage all healthcare providers to have a high clinical suspicion for monkeypox among their patients,” Walensky said. “Patients presenting with a suspicious rash should be tested.”
The virus can result in blisters, a rash, and even death. Sexual contact between gay males who attended significant events is a factor in many early cases in Western Europe and the US.
The CDC recommends the vaccine for “men who have sex with men who have been recently having multiple sex partners in a venue where there was known to be monkeypox or in an area where monkeypox is spreading.”