The United States on Thursday declared monkeypox a public health emergency, a measure designed to free up new funds, help collect data and allow additional personnel to be deployed to fight the disease.
“We are ready to take our response to the next level in tackling this virus, and we urge every American to take monkey pox seriously and take responsibility for helping us tackle this virus,” he said. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra in an appeal. .
The statement, which is initially in effect for 90 days but may be extended, came on Thursday as there were 6,600 cases nationwide, with about a quarter of them from New York state.
Experts believe the actual number could be much higher in the current outbreak, as the symptoms can be subtle, including some lesions.
The U.S. has so far delivered some 600,000 JYNNEOS vaccines — originally developed against the monkeypox-related virus, smallpox — but this number is still well below the roughly 1.6 million people considered to be at greatest risk. need the most vaccine.
About 99 percent of cases in the U.S. so far have been among men who have sex with men, the Health and Human Services Department said last week, and this is the population authorities who focus on the national vaccination strategy.
Unlike previous outbreaks in Africa, the virus is now primarily spread through sexual activity, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say other routes are also possible, including sharing bedding, clothing and prolonged face-to-face contact.
The US statement comes after the World Health Organization also declared the outbreak an emergency last month — something it reserves for diseases of the highest concern.
Also Thursday, U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Robert Califf said his agency is considering a move that would allow clinicians to administer five doses of vaccine from one dose of existing vials.
The vaccine is currently administered subcutaneously, but the new approach would involve giving it intradermally, at a more shallow angle.
This “basically means sticking the needle in the skin and creating a little pocket there that the vaccine goes in, so this is really nothing special,” Califf said.
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