US NEWS: US monkeypox outbreak Vaccine demand outstrips supply

US health officials say they don’t have enough monkeypox vaccines to cope with rising demand.

The U.S. has seen more than 1,800 cases, which is believed to be an undercount because testing also lags behind.

Concerns are growing about the speed at which monkeypox is spreading — especially in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. epidemic.

Characterized by skin lesions, the disease usually resolves on its own but can be extremely painful.

Most confirmed cases have been among men who have sex with men, although anyone can contract the virus.

What is monkeypox and how do you catch it?
“We don’t have all the vaccines that we want at this point,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control, said at a news conference on Friday.

The U.S. has received 370,000 of the nearly 7 million doses of vaccine the government has purchased in total. However, millions of batches are not expected to arrive until next year.

The federal government has distributed about 156,000 doses nationwide and expects to begin delivering another 130,000 doses starting Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Earlier this week, New York City’s vaccination website crashed as thousands of people tried to book vaccination appointments at once.

New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan apologized for the uneven rollout of the vaccine.

“We own it. You know, those mistakes shouldn’t happen, so we’re working to fix them and improve them,” he said at a news conference.

During a call with Biden administration officials on Tuesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams asked that more benefits be allocated to the city.

The true extent of the epidemic in the US is unknown because diagnostic testing has been delayed and it can take up to three weeks for symptoms to appear. A month ago, the US had just 45 cases.

“We still have problems with the availability of testing and vaccine supply, all of these problems that we saw with Covid,” Gregg Gonsalves, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, told Kaiser Health News last week. “Now the prospect of restrictions is receding rapidly.”

The US has bought more than 1.1 million doses of the Jynneos vaccine, made by Bavarian Nordic in Denmark.

Hundreds of thousands more doses are expected to arrive in the US soon after US federal health officials announced they had completed an inspection of a Danish power plant.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, more than 12,500 cases of monkeypox have been reported in nearly 70 countries.

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