Monkeypox Spreads Rapidly, Biden Administration Declares a Health Emergency
On Thursday, President Biden’s health secretary announced the monkeypox outbreak as a national health emergency.
Monkeypox cases are rising high across the US. The Biden Administration is now being criticized for handling the outbreak poorly. Some have called on the government to declare a public emergency.
The first US monkeypox case came up in mid-May. More than 6,600 confirmed cases have been identified in the United States. Cases were detected in almost every state but Montana and Wyoming.
The declaration follows The World Health Organization’s pronouncement last month that monkeypox is now a national health emergency. WHO describes the outbreak as an international concern.
Some cities and states, which include New York City, San Francisco, California, Illinois, and New York, have already announced monkeypox to be a public health emergency.
President Joe Biden and Health Secretary, Xavier Beccera, have been under intense stress from protesters and public health experts to move faster to contain the outbreak. Earlier, President Biden named an emergency response official and an infectious disease specialist to keep track of the outbreak.
Changes To The Vaccine
Health officials are now considering changing the way the vaccine doses are administrated because the US is now “at a critical inflection point” while the virus spreads, US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf told reporters.
“In recent days, it’s become clear to all of us that given the continued spread of the virus, we’re at a critical inflection point, dictating the need for additional solutions to address the rise in infection rates,” Califf says. “The goal has always been to vaccinate as many people as possible.”
Supplies of the vaccine- called Jynneos, have been constrained and the Administration has been criticized for not expanding the doses. This shows the emergency might not ease the shortage of vaccines. The Administration may take steps to allow fast access to Tecovirimat, a drug recommended for the disease.
Accordingly, the commissioner said officials are now considering allowing healthcare providers to be able to use the vaccine, which is administrated in up to five doses
“There are some advantages to intradermal administration including an improved immune response to the vaccine,” Califf says. “It’s important to note that overall safety and efficacy profile will not be sacrificed for this approach. Please know, we’ve been exploring all scientifically feasible options and we believe this could be a promising approach.”
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