Washington — After weeks of delays, nearly 800,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine will soon be available for distribution, U.S. health regulators said Wednesday.
This announcement is made amid criticisms that the authorities are too slow to deploy the vaccine and could miss the opportunity to stop an infectious disease from becoming endemic.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration said it had finished the necessary inspections at Bavarian Nordic’s facility in Denmark, where the company fills vials of the vaccine. On Wednesday, the FDA announced via Twitter that certification was complete. The doses are already in the U.S. “so that they would be ready to be distributed once the manufacturing changes were approved,” the agency said.
More than 310,000 Jynneos doses have been sent by the U.S. to states and local health department. But clinics in San Francisco, New York and other major cities say they still don’t have enough shots to meet demand.
According to the head of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wednesday was a day when officials announced that they would make additional allocations for Thursday.
Continue reading: Why It’s Way Harder to Get Tested for Monkeypox Than It Should Be
The San Francisco Department of Health was happy to hear the information. They need thousands more vaccines than they currently have, with 7,800 of them. “Without enough vaccine supply, we would have trouble fulfilling our basic duty of keeping our communities safe,” the agency said in a statement.
Washington, D.C., officials stated Wednesday that they would join San Francisco, New York City, San Francisco, and other cities, who are unable to offer second-dose appointments due to a shortage of vaccines. They said the single-dose strategy would allow them to “vaccinate more people at risk and slow the spread of monkeypox in the community more quickly.”
Monkeypox is spread primarily through skin-onskin contact. However, it could also be transmitted through the touching of linens by an infected person. Although most cases were reported in men who have had sexual relations with other men, officials stressed that it is possible for anyone to contract the virus.
Persons with monkeypox might experience bodyaches, fever, chills, and fatigue. Many people who have been affected by the virus developed bumps the appearance of zits.
Although the slow response by the federal government has been likened to COVID-19’s initial days, experts pointed out one major advantage of the U.S.: they had more than 1,000,000 doses of vaccine stored in their strategic national stockpile.
The U.S. authorities had approximately 2,000 doses of the virus on hand at the time that the outbreak was identified. Only a small portion of the remaining doses were distributed due to delays in shipping and regulations.
Continue reading: This is the best way to stop Monkeypox spreading.
“There’s not enough doses,” said Dr. Perry Halkitis of Rutgers University. “I think with some quicker action on part of federal government we might not be in the situation we are now.”
Prior doses were shipped from an FDA-approved facility in Denmark. The U.S. announced Wednesday that another 786,000 doses were being prepared at the newly opened Bavarian Nordic facility.
All vaccine production plants must be inspected by the FDA to ensure that safety and consistency are maintained.
Officials in the United States announced this month that they would order 5 million doses more, but most aren’t expected to arrive before next year.
Officials recommended that shots be administered to those who are certain they had monkeypox during the last two weeks.
The Jynneos vaccine has never been widely used in response to an outbreak like this, and the government will track how well it’s working.
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