As Monkeypox Outbreak Grows, US Announces New Steps

More vaccines, and increased recommendations for who should get them
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2022 1:44 AM CDT
As Monkeypox Outbreak Grows, US Announces New Steps
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak.   (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, file)

The US outbreak of monkeypox has reached 306 cases in 27 states and the District of Columbia; worldwide, more than 4,700 cases have been recorded in more than 40 countries outside the parts of Africa where the virus is endemic. Now, US officials are ramping up their response. The CDC announced Tuesday it is activating its Emergency Operations Center to respond to the outbreak, CNN reports. Health authorities are also expanding testing for the virus, upping the supply of monkeypox vaccine, and expanding recommendations for who should get vaccinated, the AP reports. Nine thousand vaccine doses had been distributed in the US already, but vaccine appointment slots were quickly filled.

Per the White House on Tuesday, 56,000 more doses of the Jynneos vaccine will be sent right away to areas where transmission is high; 240,000 more doses will follow over the next few weeks. By the end of fall, at least 1.6 million doses will have been made available in the US, the Biden administration announced. The highest case numbers are in California, New York, Illinois, Florida, and Washington, DC. Most of the cases have been found in men who have sex with other men, but anyone can get monkeypox, officials stress. Anyone who has been to a party or similar location where they think monkeypox may have spread should be vaccinated, officials say. If given early enough, the vaccine can reduce the severity of the illness even in people who've already contracted it. (An actor describes his experience with monkeypox here.)

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