Photo Credit: Tami Chappell | Reuters
Since major cities across the nation report fewer monkeypox incidents, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expressed optimism that the disease is already slowing down.
The director of CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said, “We’re watching this with cautious optimism and really hopeful that many of our harm-reduction messages and our vaccines are getting out there and working.”
Walensky claims that the number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the nation is still rising every day. The outbreak is, however, spreading less quickly. Since May, 17,000 monkeypox-positive people have been confirmed in the US. According to the CDC, this figure exceeds that of any other nation in the world.
The daily average is already significantly falling in New York City, which was heavily affected by the epidemic and had the highest number of infections per day. From a daily average of 70 cases, the health department of New York City reported last Thursday that there are now only nine cases per day.
The increased monkeypox vaccinations launched by numerous health agencies months ago, according to the city’s health commissioner, are the cause for the decline in cases. This trend has been influenced by community outreach as well. In New York City, there are currently 2,888 cases of monkeypox.
There are some promising results from the vaccination efforts in Chicago, which ranks high as New York in terms of the number of cases that have been confirmed. The number of cases lessened to 74 during the final week of August, according to the Chicago health department, from 141 cases at the end of July. Eight hundred seven cases have been reported overall in Chicago.
Caution is still needed
Even though the trend is waning, many health authorities advise taking extra security measures. To stop the epidemic completely, the nation should keep up its vaccination campaigns.
Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s public health commissioner, said, “We’re not seeing the potentially exponential growth that we were seeing early on, so that is reassuring. Too early to say things look really good, but definitely some signs of slowing of cases.”
The Health and Human Services Department has made it known to the general populace that it has enough vaccines to distribute to high-risk groups, primarily gay and bisexual men. Department head Dawn O’Connell said high-risk groups could have two doses of the monkeypox vaccine. According to the CDC, about 1.7 million gay and bisexual men who test positive for HIV are thought to be in the highest risk category.
O’Connell disclosed that the federal government has already given out more than 1.5 million monkeypox vaccines to the states that demand them. In addition, States would get 3 million doses more as a result of the government extending its partnership with Bavarian Nordic.
According to recent statistics, monkeypox has affected Black and Hispanic men in the US. CDC data reveals that thirty percent are white, 32 percent Hispanic, and 23 percent are black. There are 59% White people, 19% Hispanic people, and 13% Black people in the entire US population.
The monkeypox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic
Bavarian Nordic, the sole business that has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to export the vaccine to the US, generates the monkeypox vaccine under the brand name Jynneos. Two doses of the vaccine are given by injection. 28 days would pass after the first dose before the second and final doses could be given.
The second dose of the vaccine takes two weeks for it to start working effectively against the monkeypox virus. Of the 19 locations where the vaccines have been given, CDC Director Walensky stated that 97% were still first doses.
The government faced difficulties getting vaccines to health agencies all over the country when the virus started spreading in the US. As many people rushed to receive the vaccine against monkeypox, supply shortages persevered among the facilities that provided the vaccine. The government recently signed a new agreement allowing Bavarian Nordic to contribute millions more to the national stockpile.
Opinions expressed by Texas Today contributors are their own.