The U.S. federal government is distributing about 1.1 million doses of the monkeypox vaccine, while health officials estimate that around 3.5 million doses are needed to fight the monkeypox outbreak. The next batch of 500,000 doses is expected to be delivered in October.
And most of the vaccine ordered by the country won’t be delivered until 2023, according to federal data.
In addition, a number of missteps have led to delays in distributing the monkeypox vaccine. The United States once had about 20 million doses of monkeypox vaccine in the national stockpile, but when those vaccines expired, they were not replenished in time, reducing the supply to almost nothing.
The U.S. government’s monkeypox vaccine maker in Denmark had ordered more than 370,000 doses of the vaccine, but waited several weeks before asking the company to deliver the order after the first case of monkeypox was detected in mid-May.
Another approximately 786,000 doses of the vaccine were put on hold by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but shipments have now begun.
The shortage of monkeypox vaccine is exacerbated after other countries have also ordered monkeypox vaccines. The U.S. ordered two more batches of 2.5 million doses of monkeypox vaccine on July 1 and July 15, but most of the vaccine will not be delivered until 2023.
Monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The typical clinical manifestations of monkeypox are fever, rash, and swollen lymph nodes, and may lead to a series of complications.
According to statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of August 2, 6,326 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in the United States, including 1,617 cases in New York State, 826 cases in California, and 533 cases in Illinois.
In addition, US President Biden announced on August 2 the establishment of a special task force to deal with the monkeypox epidemic in the United States.