“We have the testing capacity we need and we’ve made access easier,” said Dr. Walensky.
But public health officials should monitor the disease more actively, said Dr. Gonsalves, are reaching out into the community and proactively offering testing in places that serve men who have sex with men and in congregation settings such as homeless shelters. where the virus could spread.
The monkeypox test involves swabbing one of the lesions typically associated with the disease, which makes it difficult to extend the test to people who don’t have symptoms, said Dr. Walensky. “You have to have a lesion to get a test,” she added.
Jynneos, the only vaccine specifically approved by the FDA for monkeypox, is given in two doses 28 days apart. It’s made by Bavarian Nordic, a small company in Denmark, and their worldwide supply was extremely limited.
The United States has purchased nearly seven million doses in total but has only received 372,000 of them, Dawn O’Connell, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, said on Friday. So far, 156,000 cans have been distributed across the country, she said.
State health officials may request an alternative vaccine called ACAM2000, which is designed to prevent smallpox and also protect against monkeypox, experts say. But this vaccine comes with serious side effects, and the federal government has only made it available “in relatively modest amounts to a few states,” Ms O’Connell said.