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With the most recent numbers from the CDC estimating close to 2,900 cases of monkeypox in the U.S., it may be worth considering getting vaccinated against the disease, especially if you live in a large city like New York or Chicago. The biggest limiting factor is the availability of vaccine doses, so what is the government doing to increase the number of vaccines available? Read on below to find out.
Stocking up on the JYNNEOS vaccine
Unlike the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the monkeypox disease is not a new issue. Monkeypox has been around for decades in Africa, and there have already been years of research and development to develop an effective vaccine for it. The primary vaccine used to combat both monkeypox and smallpox is known as JYNNEOS.
According to disease experts, the JYNNEOS vaccine is roughly 85% effective, making it the current best solution we have to defend against monkeypox. As their primary defensive measure against monkeypox, the U.S. government has ordered over 300,000 doses of the vaccine.
Cities and states taking their own precautions
Although the federal government is taking great efforts to make monkeypox vaccinations available to everyone in need, some cities and states are taking their own measures. Some areas with notable monkeypox responses include:
New York City
As of July 15, 30 percent of all the cases of monkeypox in the country were located in New York City, making it the epicenter of the monkeypox outbreak in the U.S., according to a New York City press release. According to the same press release, the city ordered 14,500 doses of the vaccine that week and is continuing to obtain as much as it can.
Washington D.C. has currently received 8,300 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine and administered 2,600 of them. The city has also implemented a 24-hour hotline to provide resources and information to anyone who thinks they may be infected with monkeypox. As of July 18, there were 122 cases of monkeypox in Washington, D.C.
As of July 19, the state of New Jersey had 2,700 available doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy stated, “As cases of monkeypox continue to rise and our state receives additional doses from the federal government, we are taking these critical steps to increase the availability of the vaccine to protect the health of residents.” Until more doses are available, the state is prioritizing giving them to individuals with the highest risk level.
Why are there a limited number of doses?
The JYNNEOS vaccine is produced by a company called Bavarian Nordic. The company has been manufacturing this vaccine since 2010, primarily as a vaccine for smallpox, and has produced over 28 million doses for the U.S. during that period. The vaccine has been difficult to get into the country so far partially because the U.S. isn’t the only country experiencing an outbreak. Several countries in Europe have been impacted as well.