The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced an enhanced nationwide vaccination strategy to mitigate the spread of monkeypox.
The strategy will vaccinate and protect those at risk of monkeypox, prioritize vaccines for areas with the highest numbers of cases, and provide guidance to state, territorial, tribal, and local health officials to aid their planning and response efforts.
Under the strategy, HHS is rapidly expanding access to hundreds of thousands of doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine for prophylactic use against monkeypox in areas with the highest transmission and need, using a tiered allocation system
. Jurisdictions can also request shipments of the ACAM2000 vaccine, which is in much greater supply, but due to significant side effects is not recommended for everyone.
For years, the United States has invested in research on monkeypox and in tools to effectively respond to the disease. Monkeypox is a virus that is generally spread through close or intimate contact, with symptoms that include a rash and fever.
It is much less transmissible than fast-spreading respiratory diseases like COVID-19, and this outbreak has not caused any deaths in the United States.
The virus, however, is spreading in the United States and globally, and requires a comprehensive response from federal, state, local, and international governments and communities. Since the first United States case was confirmed on May 18, President Biden has taken critical actions to make vaccines, testing, and treatments available to those who need them as part of its whole-of-government monkeypox outbreak response.
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the first phase of its national monkeypox vaccine strategy, a critical part of its monkeypox outbreak response. The vaccine strategy will help immediately address the spread of the virus by providing vaccines across the country to individuals at high risk. This phase of the strategy aims to rapidly deploy vaccines in the most affected communities and mitigate the spread of the disease.
This announcement is a critical component of the Administration’s broader public health response, which includes rapidly scaling up and decentralizing testing alongside continued provider education and community engagement across the country.
The Administration’s monkeypox outbreak response is also informed by the multiple times over the last twenty years that the United States has effectively responded to the virus. The United States government’s response is coordinated by the National Security Council Directorate on Global Health Security and Biodefense – more commonly known as the White House Pandemic Office – which President Biden restored on day one of his presidency, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Collectively, the Administration’s efforts aim to expand vaccination for individuals at risk and make testing more convenient for healthcare providers and patients across the country. The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to working with urgency to detect more cases, protect those at risk, and respond rapidly to the outbreak.
Scaling and Delivering Vaccines to Mitigate New Infections: Thanks to prior investments in health security and the nation’s prior experience responding to the monkeypox virus, the United States has effective vaccines and treatments that can be used against monkeypox. To date, HHS has received requests from 32 states and jurisdictions, deploying over 9,000 doses of vaccine and 300 courses of antiviral smallpox treatments.
With today’s national monkeypox vaccine strategy, the United States is significantly expanding the deployment of vaccines, allocating 296,000 doses over the coming weeks, 56,000 of which will be allocated immediately. Over the coming months, a combined 1.6 million additional doses will become available.
Making Testing Easier:
The new national monkeypox vaccine strategy builds on the Administration’s efforts to make testing more widely available and easier to access. On day one of this outbreak, providers had access to a high-quality, FDA-cleared test to detect