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Monkeypox Vaccine Demand Increases Amid Low Supplies



Photo Credit: The AV Times

Monkeypox is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause skin rash and fever. The Centers for Disease Control have already confirmed over 1,400 cases across America, with many more likely to be recorded in the next weeks.

The director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said that there’s an imbalance in supply and demand for Monkeypox vaccines, which has led to long lines at vaccine clinics. The epicenter where most outbreaks happened, New York City, is mainly impacted by this problem because clinics in the city tend to have more concentrated pockets of lines without enough vaccine shots to administer.

Health and Human Services officials are increasing their efforts to increase the supply of the vaccine.

“We know that this is frustrating,” Dr. Walensky said in a call.

Walensky said that the supply of vaccines would increase in July and August, which is a perfect timeline since those infected experience symptoms within three weeks after exposure. She expects more people will flock to the hospitals for vaccination and testing centers to be diagnosed.

The U.S., with the help of commercial labs, can now test up to 70,000 specimens per week. These specialized tests, overlooked by partner labs like Labcorp and Quest Diagnostics, are available for orthopox, a family of viruses that includes Monkeypox, among others. An official at the CDC, Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, said that if a person tests positive for orthopox, it is highly likely that the individual is also positive for Monkeypox.

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There are no other effective tests for Orthopox except the sampling done on the liquid coming out of lesions that a patient develops after contracting the virus. It can be tricky because you need to wait weeks before getting results, which means there’s only one way to diagnose the certainty of the presence of the virus – when you have actual lesions on the skin.

The most recent cases of Monkeypox have been found in mostly gay, bisexual men and males who have sex with males. However, it’s also important to note that this infection can spread through sexual activities.

The Center for Disease Control reports that there are now 11,000 confirmed cases of Monkeypox in 55 countries worldwide.


The U.S. to receive more vaccines

It is reported that U.S. authorities have already shipped a total of more than 300,000 vaccine shots to several states. Now Bavarian Nordic, a Danish manufacturer, has tied with the U.S. government and plans to ship 786,000 shots of the vaccine once there is approval from the Food and Drug Administration. According to Dawn O’Connell, an official from the HHS, the FDA would have given the approval at the end of the month.

The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) have placed an order for 2.5 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine, with the first shipment expected to arrive next year. This means that there will be nearly 7 million total stocks of vaccines available in America in 2023.

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The older vaccine for smallpox, ACAM200, is still an effective way to protect against Monkeypox. However, high-risk individuals like pregnant women, older people, people with illnesses, and people with skin diseases are highly advised not to receive the dose. Side effects can cause health complications.

“It’s critically important for states and jurisdictions to quickly and accurately report all of their cases through CDC recommended reporting,” Walensky added. Once suspected of exposure, individuals are recommended to visit the nearest medical facility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding intimate contact with partners if Monkeypox symptoms are present and refraining from sexual contact.

The best way to stay safe from infection is by avoiding crowded places that require prolonged contact with other people, like parties and galas.

Source: CNBC

Based in LA, Alice Blake is a senior reporter for Kivo Daily. She primarily covers entrepreneurs.