The United States has more than 36,000 doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine immediately available in the National Strategic Stockpile, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sends the vaccine to people who have been exposed to the virus at high risk in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading further. On Friday, the United States identified 25 confirmed or presumptive monkeypox cases in 12 states.
The United States has asked Bavarian Nordic, a Danish biotechnology company, to ship an additional 36,000 doses of Jynneos in the near future, an HHS spokesperson said. Bavarian Nordic has more than one million doses held by the United States and can fill an additional 16.4 million doses at the request of the federal government, the spokesperson said.
The global outbreak of monkeypox is the largest on record outside of Africa. Nearly 800 confirmed cases of monkeypox in 27 countries have been reported to the World Health Organization. Most cases are in Europe, including Portugal, Spain and the UK.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Jynneos for adults ages 18 and older at high risk for smallpox or monkeypox in 2019. The two-dose vaccine is the only vaccine approved to specifically prevent monkeypox. However, the United States also has more than 100 million doses of the older generation ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine, the spokesperson said. ACAM2000 is manufactured by Emergent BioSolutions
The United States has distributed 1,200 doses of Jynneos and ACAM2000 to people at high risk of monkeypox, Dr. Raj Panjabi, who heads the White House’s pandemic preparedness office, said in a call. with reporters on Friday.
Although ACAM2000 was approved by the FDA in 2007 to prevent smallpox, the vaccine can also be used to protect against monkeypox under a CDC program. Monkeypox belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, although it is much milder.
The United States also distributes an oral antiviral called tecovirimat that can be used to treat people infected with monkeypox, Panjabi said. Tecovirimat was the first pill approved by the FDA in 2018 to treat smallpox, although it can also be used against monkeypox under a CDC program.
The CDC generally recommends Jynneos over ACAM2000, which can have serious side effects. ACAM2000 uses a live mild virus strain from the same family as monkeypox and smallpox that can still spread in the human body and to other people. The vaccine is given in a single dose that is scraped into the upper arm, and the virus develops into a localized infection in the form of a blister.
The patient can transmit the virus to other parts of their body if they scratch the blister and then rub their eye, for example, which can lead to visual damage. The virus can also spread to other members of the patient’s household, which can be dangerous if a family member has a weakened immune system or is pregnant or breastfeeding. The FDA has warned that it is important that people who receive ACAM2000 take care of the injection site so as not to spread the virus.
There are also large groups of people who are not supposed to receive ACAM2000 according to CDC guidelines due to the risk of side effects. These people include pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with weakened immune systems, people with skin conditions, and those with heart disease.
In pregnant women, the virus strain from the vaccine can spread to the fetus and cause stillbirth. People with weakened immune systems run the risk of the virus spreading out of control and potentially causing a dangerous infection. People with skin conditions such as eczema or atopic dermatitis are also at risk of the virus spreading to their skin and causing a life-threatening infection. ACAM2000 is also associated with a risk of heart inflammation, known as myocarditis and pericarditis.
The Jynneos vaccine has fewer side effects because the vaccine uses a mild virus strain that is not able to replicate in the human body and therefore cannot spread.
ACAM2000 has demonstrated high levels of protection against monkeypox in animal models and is expected to provide 85% protection against disease from the virus, similar to earlier versions of smallpox vaccines, according to Mark Slifka, an immunologist at Oregon. Health and Science University. Less is known about the effectiveness of Jynneos because the vaccine is newer, but it produced good antibodies in humans and should protect against serious disease, according to Slifka.
The global outbreak of monkeypox has raised concern among public health officials because it is unusual for the virus to spread so much outside West and Central Africa. Historically, the virus passed from rodents to people in remote villages in Africa. However, the virus now appears to be transmitted better between people through close physical contact, according to Slifka.
WHO officials said last week that the virus had likely been spreading outside Africa undetected for some time, although it was unclear for how long.
So far, most cases have been reported by gay and bisexual men who developed systems and sought treatment at sexual health clinics, according to the WHO. Health officials have pointed out that anyone can catch monkeypox through close physical contact. However, they said it was important to educate the LGBTQ community about the situation so individuals can protect their health.
Dr. Jennifer McQuiston, a CDC official, told reporters last week that most US patients had a history of international travel within 21 days of symptom onset, indicating they likely caught the virus. viruses abroad. Although the CDC doesn’t believe monkeypox is spreading widely in the United States at this time, health cannot rule out the possibility of it spreading nationally, McQuiston said.
Most people who get monkeypox recover in two to four weeks without specific medical treatment, although the rashes that characterize the disease can be very painful, McQuiston said. The threat to public health is low at this time, she said.
Monkeypox usually begins with flu-like symptoms and rashes, then begins to spread all over the body. The virus is mainly transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with these rashes. People can also catch monkeypox through shared sheets or clothing. People who have sores in their throats or mouths can also spread the virus through respiratory droplets, although it’s not easy for the disease to spread that way, according to the CDC.
People with confirmed or suspected monkeypox infections should self-isolate at home until state or local health departments direct otherwise, according to the CDC. People with monkeypox should only leave isolation after the rash has crusted over, fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed.