With the monkeypox virus making its way to the US, officials announced that they will be releasing previously approved vaccines from the national stockpile to help curtail any spread of the disease.
There has been one confirmed case of monkeypox in Massachusetts, with several others suspected in the US, which prompted federal health officials to release the vaccine to “high-risk” people.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Jynneos vaccine is being released to potential high-risk contacts of the early monkeypox patients.
The two-dose vaccine was intended to prevent smallpox and specifically to fight monkeypox.
There are reportedly approximately 1,000 doses of the approved vaccine in the US, while there are millions of doses of an older smallpox vaccine, though there could be severe side effects to the treatment.
There has been a confirmed monkeypox case in Massachusetts, with suspected cases in New York, Florida, and Utah, according to the CDC.
Analysis of the suspected cases is expected to determine whether there is a confirmed case of the virus in the coming days, officials said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that more cases of monkeypox are expected to be identified in the coming days and weeks as surveillance for the rare virus expands.
According to the CDC, cases of monkeypox have previously been identified in travelers from, or residents of, West African or Central African countries where monkeypox is considered to be endemic.
“CDC is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to ask clinicians in the United States to be vigilant to the characteristic rash associated with monkeypox,” officials said.
They said that suspicion of monkeypox should be heightened in people who:
- “Traveled to countries with recently confirmed cases of the virus;
- Report having had contact with a person or people who have a similar rash or received a diagnosis of confirmed or suspected monkeypox;
- Is a man who regularly has close or intimate in-person contact with other men, including those met through an online website, digital application (“app”), or at a bar or party.”
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