While not to the same degree as the coronavirus, the spread of monkeypox has been an ongoing concern for the United States over the last several months. Thankfully, due to the virus’s similarity to smallpox, it has been confirmed that smallpox vaccines can fight it, which is why the Department of Health and Human Services have been carefully distributing shots to potential hotspots.
Earlier this week, the Health Department announced that they will also begin offering direct monkeypox vaccinations to anyone who believes they have been exposed to the virus.
“Within days of the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the United States, we quickly began deploying vaccines and treatment to help protect the American public and limit the spread of the virus,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
“While monkeypox poses minimal risk to most Americans, we are doing everything we can to offer vaccines to those at high risk of contracting the virus. This new strategy allows us to maximize the supply of currently available vaccines and reach those who are most vulnerable to the current outbreak.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Thursday that the federal government would soon send New York, which has become a hot spot for monkeypox, more than 8,000 additional doses of the monkeypox vaccine, with about 6,000 going to New York City. https://t.co/V25EZ6KII8
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 30, 2022
Roughly 56,000 doses of vaccine are being deployed immediately, with another 240,000 doses to come in the next several weeks. The department clarified that vaccines will be available to those “who had close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox, those who know their sexual partner was diagnosed with monkeypox, and men who have sex with men who have recently had multiple sex partners in a venue where there was known to be monkeypox or in an area where monkeypox is spreading.”
As of Wednesday, there are roughly 305 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States.