As monkeypox virus cases increase in the United States, the Biden administration will begin distributing the monkeypox vaccine around the country, focusing on persons most at risk and localities with the highest number of cases, according to White House officials on Tuesday.
The US Department of Health and Human Services will promptly dispatch 56,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine to locations with high transmission.
“With today’s national monkeypox vaccine strategy, the United States is significantly expanding deployment of vaccines, allocating 296,000 doses over the coming weeks. Over the coming months a combined 1.6 million additional doses will become available,” said the White House.
According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, the states with the largest number of cases include California, New York, Illinois, and Florida, as well as Washington, D.C.
“We are recommending that vaccines be provided to both people with known monkeypox exposures who are contacted by public health and also to those people who’ve been recently exposed to monkeypox,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a news briefing Tuesday.
Because the monkeypox virus is closely related to the virus that causes smallpox, the smallpox vaccine can protect people from getting monkeypox, according to the CDC. ACAM200 and JYNNEOSTM (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) are the two currently licensed vaccines in the United States to prevent smallpox.