The Biden administration plans to declare the US monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency as early as Thursday, The Washington Post reported, citing unidentified sources.
The statement is said to come from Xavier Becerra, the health secretary, who was to discuss the plan during an afternoon briefing, the Post said.
Citing two unnamed officials, the newspaper said Becerra plans to empower U.S. officials to expedite countermeasures, including vaccines and treatments, allowing greater flexibility in administering vaccine supply .
Access to vaccines has been an ongoing issue as the number of monkeypox cases in the United States has increased. States and cities, including New York and San Francisco, have issued emergency declarations.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a global health emergency on July 23.
Later that month, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus advised men at risk of catching monkeypox to consider reducing the number of sexual partners they have “at the moment. “.
Ghebreyesus said 98% of monkeypox cases detected since May have been in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. He called on those at risk to take steps to protect themselves.
“It means making safe choices for yourself and for others, for men who have sex with men,” Tedros said.
“That includes, for now, reducing your number of sexual partners.”