The monkeypox vaccine is highly effective, protecting people as early as two weeks after the first dose, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
A preliminary analysis from the agency found that between July 31 and September 3, unvaccinated people were 14 times more likely to contract monkeypox disease compared with people who were vaccinated 14 days or more after their first injection.
The results were based on confirmed infections from 32 jurisdictions across the country. The US has seen more than 25,000 cases in the current outbreak, which began in May this year and primarily affects men who have sex with men.
“These new data give us cautious optimism that the vaccine is working as intended,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky told reporters at a briefing.
“Even in light of this promising data, we strongly recommend that people receive two doses of Jynneos vaccine 28 days apart to ensure lasting, lasting immune protection against monkey pox,” she added.
Despite being approved, there is as yet no confirmed estimate of the efficacy of the Jynneos vaccine against monkeypox, as previous studies have only looked at animals and measured human immune response data.
More than 66,000 cases of monkey pox have been diagnosed worldwide, but there have been new infections since August.
The US has administered more than 680,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine, with efforts targeting gay and bisexual men, as well as transgender and gender-diverse people.
The White House’s deputy coordinator for monkeypox response, Demetre Daskalakis, said the rollout strategy is entering a new phase in which the vaccine will be offered to people without prior exposure, rather than after a known exposure.
“This new strategy means that more people who are currently or in the future at risk for monkeypox are now eligible for the vaccine,” he said.
To reduce stigma, new guidelines could allow health care providers to administer the vaccine in less visible areas, including the shoulder or upper back, instead of the forearm, he added.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)