On August 10, 2022, a registered nurse named Luis Garcia is shown in Los Angeles, California preparing a vaccination against the Monkeypox virus at St.Well John’s Child & Family Center.
The CDC reports that the risk of infection for at-risk individuals who have not received any monkeypox vaccinations is 14 times higher than for those who have received the full series of shots.
Preliminary data collected from 32 states between the end of July and the beginning of September is the first hard proof that the Jynneos vaccination is protecting some people from the monkeypox virus that is causing the current outbreak.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, updated reporters on Wednesday, saying, “These new results provide us with a level of cautious confidence that the vaccination is performing as intended.”
Walensky remarked that the data showed that even a single dose of the vaccine provided some early protection against infection as soon as two weeks following the shot. The Danish business Bavarian Nordic’s Jynneos vaccination requires two doses, 28 days apart.
According to Walensky, the immune protection is at its peak two weeks after the second treatment, despite the encouraging data on a single dose.
“We continue, especially in light of these positive outcomes, to strongly urge people have two dosages of Jynneos vaccine spaced out 28 days apart to achieve persistent, enduring immune protection against monkeypox,” Walensky added.
It is widely believed that gay and bisexual men are spreading monkeypox to one another through intimate skin-to-skin contact while engaging in sexual activity. Although deaths from the virus are uncommon, those infected often experience excruciating pain and a blister-like rash that necessitates hospitalisation.
The head of the CDC has stated that vaccinated individuals must take extra precautions to prevent monkeypox by limiting behaviours that put them at risk and avoiding close contact with those who have the disease.
Walensky said the CDC is waiting for real-world data about the effectiveness of the second vaccine dosage before deciding when vaccinated people can return to regular sexual behaviour.
“For the time being, all we have is information about how well and how quickly our vaccine works after a single dose. However, information on what happens after a second dose and the length of time that protection lasts is still lacking “Quote from Walensky.
For the first time, the United States is employing Jynneos in an effort to contain a widespread monkeypox epidemic. Therefore, information on the vaccine’s efficacy in actual use is scant. In 2019, human immune response data led to the first FDA approval of the Jynneos vaccine.
The CDC is also broadening eligibility requirements so that more people can get the vaccination before they are exposed to monkeypox.
Whoever has had intercourse with more than one partner in the past six months, or who has had sex in an area with a higher risk of monkeypox, or who has had a sexually transmitted infection during that time, is at risk for contracting monkeypox. Additionally, sex workers and other sexual partners of persons at risk can now receive the vaccine.
White House deputy chief of the monkeypox taskforce Demetre Daskalakis said the government is also urging vaccination providers to ease access and allay concerns about stigma.
Fear of disclosure of sexual orientation or gender identity should not prevent immunisation, Daskalakis argued.
Vaccines can now be administered in the shoulder or upper back, following new CDC guidelines, making it easier to conceal the transitory mark left by the shot under clothing. Daskalakis noted that some people refuse to get the shot in their forearm because they view the resulting mark as stigmatising.
The United States is experiencing the greatest monkeypox outbreak in recorded history, with over 25,000 cases reported throughout all 50 states plus DC and Puerto Rico. Since the outbreak began in May, there has been one verified death in the United States.
After spreading throughout the United States this summer, monkeypox incidences have been decreasing nationally in recent weeks.
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