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About 56,000 doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine are currently being sent to clinics across the United States, with another 240,000 on the way in the coming weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.
“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,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. . “This new strategy allows us to maximize the supply of currently available vaccines and reach those who are most vulnerable to the current outbreak.”
An additional 750,000 doses will be made available over the summer, followed by another half million doses later this year, HHS said.
The vaccines will initially be available to those most at risk, including men who have sex with men and people who have recently had close contact with someone with monkeypox.
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New York and Washington, DC, were the first two major cities to begin offering monkeypox vaccines in recent days, but health officials said they were already out of stock.
The United States has reported 306 monkeypox infections since this year’s first case was discovered in Massachusetts last month. California has the largest outbreak with 66 cases, followed by New York with 63 and Illinois with 45, according to the CDC.
The Jynneos vaccine requires two doses given four weeks apart. The United States also has 100 million doses of the older ACAM2000 vaccine, but it’s not recommended for everyone due to potentially serious side effects.
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The CDC also said Tuesday it was activating the Emergency Operations Center in response to the outbreak.
“This action allows the CDC command center to monitor and coordinate the monkeypox emergency response and mobilize additional CDC personnel and resources,” the CDC said.