HealthDay News — Amid public concerns about a slow government response to monkeypox, U.S. health regulators on Wednesday signed off on the distribution of another 800,000 doses of vaccine to stem the outbreak.
The additional shots of the Jynneos vaccine come from the Bavarian Nordic facility in Denmark, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finished inspecting two weeks ago. The agency said on Twitter Wednesday that it had finalized certification of the doses.
The doses come not a moment too soon: On July 23, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global public health emergency. With more than 4,600 cases now reported in the United States, the Biden administration is weighing whether to do the same.
Though it had been thought that the United States would have an advantage in the monkeypox outbreak compared with COVID-19 because it supposedly had 1 million monkeypox vaccine doses in its strategic national stockpile, only 2,000 were actually on hand because the other doses were delayed by shipping and regulatory measures, the Associated Press reported.
Though the vaccine is meant to be given in two doses, officials in big cities, including Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco, have said they plan to stop offering second-vaccine appointments to stretch doses and allow them to “vaccinate more people at risk and slow the spread of monkeypox in the community more quickly,” the AP reported.
The United States expects to have another 5 million doses of monkeypox vaccine available in the future, but most will arrive in 2023, the AP reported.