The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it is preparing nearly 300,000 monkeypox vaccines for high-risk individuals as the virus spreads.
Officials plan to distribute the JYNNEOS vaccine, which is approved for both monkeypox and smallpox. States can also request shipments of ACAM2000, which the government has a more significant supply of, but notes that the vaccine has greater side effects.
Federal officials say that 66,000 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine will be made available immediately, and an additional 240,000 doses will be made available in the coming weeks. The government expects 500,000 additional doses to be manufactured over the summer bringing the total number to 750,000.
“Within days of the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the United States, we quickly began deploying vaccines and treatment to help protect the American public and limit the spread of the virus,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “While monkeypox poses minimal risk to most Americans, we are doing everything we can to offer vaccines to those at high-risk of contracting the virus. This new strategy allows us to maximize the supply of currently available vaccines and reach those who are most vulnerable to the current outbreak.”
The vaccine will be allocated based on the number of individuals at risk for monkeypox who also have pre-existing conditions, like HIV, officials stated. The Biden administration will encourage vaccines for those who have been in direct contact with someone who is confirmed or presumed to have monkeypox.
As of Tuesday, the United States had 305 confirmed cases of monkeypox.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the risk of monkeypox in the United States to the public is low, but you should avoid contact with others if you develop an unexplained skin rash.
Typical symptoms of monkeypox include a rash, fever, malaise, headache and muscle aches.
On Saturday, the World Health Organization said it would not declare monkeypox a global health emergency, but the agency expressed concern over its spread.