What is happening
Health officials are expanding access to the monkeypox vaccine to people at high risk of contracting the disease.
Why is it important?
Vaccination can be an important step in preventing the spread of monkey disease, which can go undetected for some time and can easily be misdiagnosed.
What does it mean to you?
Currently, most people do not need the monkeypox vaccine. But if you’ve been in contact with someone with monkeypox or are in a community where it’s more common, you may be eligible.
The Biden Administration announced last week that it was shipping doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine from the U.S. stockpile of smallpox and monkeypox drugs. The vaccine will be distributed to communities based on need, and people who have been exposed or who believe they have been exposed will be able to receive the vaccine. Clinics have already been established in some cities, including New York and Denver.
There are ongoing ones in the US and other countries, monkeypox is a disease from the same family of viruses that causes smallpox, although it is usually less severe. As of Friday, there are more than 760 confirmed cases in the U.S. (which is likely far fewer).
Expanding access to the monkeypox vaccine could be an important step toward preventing the spread of a disease that has been spreading undetected for some time, and some experts say it’s too late. Testing for monkeypox has been relatively rare, and the disease has primarily been detected in sexual health clinics. This may be due to the fact that monkeypox lesions resemble sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes. World Health Organization regional director for Europe Dr. According to Hans Henry P. Kluge, the majority of cases are in gay and bisexual men who tend to be proactive about sexual health.
Dr. Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, an infectious disease specialist and senior scientist. “We’re kind of playing chase,” Amesh Adalja said.
“If you can’t fully get events through connection tracing and you’re worried about unrecognized chains of transmission, it can be useful to have broader compliance to end that,” he said.
Here’s everything we know about the monkeypox vaccine in the US. Also, read more aboutincluding symptoms and how it spreads.
What is the monkeypox vaccine?
There are two vaccines that work against monkeypox in the US national stockpile. Both are expected to work before exposure to monkeypox as well as after exposure before symptoms start. (The fact that vaccines work after exposure is what distinguishes monkeypox from diseases like COVID-19.)
Gynneos (developed by Bavarian Nordic) is a new generation vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2019 against monkeypox and smallpox. This is a two-dose vaccine, with each shot given four weeks apart. It uses an attenuated virus and is approved for people 18 and older who are at high risk for monkeypox or smallpox.
Jynneos is a vaccine that is being shipped and is currently being used to control monkeypox in the United States. It’s in limited supply, but the CDC says more may be available in the coming weeks and months.
Jynneos is the newest monkeypox vaccine, but it’s not the only one in the US stockpile.
ACAM2000 is a second-generation smallpox vaccine that also works against monkeypox. (The two diseases are closely related, and both are caused by orthopoxviruses, which makes it possible.) The US Department of Health and Human Services said it is also ready to ship more supplies of the ACAM2000 vaccine from Jynneos if needed. it is a second choice in monkeypox reaction because it has a side effect profile that is not safe for some people.
ACAM2000 is administered differently than the usual vaccinations we are used to. It is given by dipping a needle into the vaccine solution, then “puncturing” the upper arm several times. It will cause a local infection (“pox”) that causes an immune response.
Although ACAM2000 does not cause smallpox, it contains a live vaccine virus that is not suitable for everyone. It can be dangerous for immunocompromised people, pregnant women, and those with certain heart or skin conditions.
Smallpox was declared eradicated from the world in 1980. The US stopped routine vaccination against it in 1972, although some health care workers or people working in laboratories may have been vaccinated. According to the CDC, ACAM2000 is a derivative of Dryvax that helps eliminate smallpox.
Who needs the monkeypox vaccine?
Currently, most people do not need the monkeypox vaccine. It is not a widespread application like the kind that most countries have launched for the COVID-19 vaccine. For starters, monkeyflower does not propagate easily. You usually need to be in a long-term, intimate relationship with someone — think of it as a family member, sex partner, or dance partner at a club.
Although anyone can catch or spread monkeypox, gay and bisexual men account for a disproportionate number of cases in the current epidemic. Before the national backlash, New York began offering the vaccine to people at higher risk of getting it. Colorado also operates pop-up monkeypox vaccination clinics.
According to the CDC, you meet the criteria for the monkeypox vaccine if:
- You are a contact of someone with monkeypox or have been identified through contact tracing.
- You have had a sexual partner with monkeypox in the past two weeks.
- You have had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area where monkeypox is common.
If you are concerned about monkeypox or your risk of exposure, contact your doctor or local health clinic. According to the CDC, Jynneos should also be preferred for people at high risk of severe illness, including those with immunodeficiencies.
Availability and eligibility may ultimately depend on where you live and the guidance of your local health department. Adalja says the response to the current monkeypox outbreak isn’t “one-size-fits-all,” but as some experts argue, “if we’re having trouble tracing contact, a vaccine should be on the table.” is already a reality.
How effective are vaccines?
Because the monkeypox outbreak in the U.S. is so new, there’s no telling yet how effective vaccines will be, according to the CDC. The agency says Jynneos’ effectiveness against monkeypox has been confirmed in animal studies. Although not commonly used, ACAM2000 is closely related to the Dryvax vaccine, which helps prevent smallpox. The effectiveness of ACAM2000 is confirmed by animal studies as well as human clinical trials.
Although you’re unlikely to get monkeypox after being vaccinated, you should still self-isolate if you develop monkeypox symptoms, such as a rash, the CDC says. For the vaccine to be most effective after exposure, the vaccine should be given four days after exposure, according to the CDC. Given between four and 14 days after exposure, it may not prevent infection but is expected to reduce symptoms, the agency says.
Why is there a stockpile of monkeypox vaccine in the US?
The US has stockpiles of Jynneos and ACAM2000 not because the country is concerned about an outbreak of monkeypox (which has been endemic in several African countries for years), but in case smallpox becomes a public threat again. Smallpox was declared eradicated in the 1980s, and the last natural outbreak in the United States occurred in 1949. But smallpox is usually much more severe than monkeypox, and officials worry it could be used as biological warfare.
“The reserve was created during a biological weapons attack on the United States with smallpox,” Adalja said. According to Adalja, in this case, health workers will not prescribe vaccines or use only the new generation vaccine.
“If there was smallpox, we would use whatever vaccine we had to fight it,” he said.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or health goals.