In response to a rise in the number of new cases of monkeypox being reported across the country, the federal government agency in charge of public health announced Thursday that there will be a lot more vaccine available.
The White House announced on Monday that an additional 1.8 million doses of the vaccine will be made available.
The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that there have been more than 14,100 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States.
During a press conference on Thursday, Rochelle Walensky, who is in charge of the CDC, said that the government is looking into the effectiveness of the vaccine.
“To be clear, we are learning how well these vaccines work against monkeypox, and in this specific outbreak. Although we anticipate vaccines will provide protection, temporarily reducing or avoiding behaviors that increase your risk of monkeypox exposure is important, especially between your first and second doses of vaccine,” she said.
A single dosage of the vaccination may be stretched out across a total of five doses if the vaccine is injected just below the surface of the skin, as is recommended by the CDC.
According to authorities with the Biden administration, around 98% of instances have been found in men, with the majority of these cases being men who have recently reported sexual relationships with other men. The statistics from 6,000 instances indicate that 35% of the victims have been white men, 33% have been Hispanic, and 28% have been black.
According to Dr. Celine Gounder, an editor at large for Kaiser Health News, “We’re not reaching men who have sex with men, who are Black and Brown, the way that we need to.”
Cases are also beginning to surge among youngsters, with at least 12 children already infected with the virus. According to Gounder, the most common way for children in the United States to be exposed to the virus is through a caregiver.
“The caregiver could be a family member or a daycare provider. The risk is greatest with caregivers who are bathing a child, changing diapers, or helping with toileting, where they could be much closer contact. In general, this would imply the child being quite young. School-aged children can generally attend to these needs without help,” said Gounder.
Gounder also mentioned that children are at a higher risk of developing severe monkeypox.
She said that it was even possible for very young children to lose their lives due to the virus.
The Biden administration is starting a new program that will set aside 50,000 doses for important events like the upcoming Black Pride in Atlanta and the Southern Decadence in New Orleans, where one of the main events had to be cancelled because of concerns about monkeypox.