The Biden administration has declared a public health emergencyThe epidemic in the United States now accounts for more virus infections than any other country in the world. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced the decision during a briefing with public health officials on Thursday.
“This public health emergency will allow us to explore additional strategies to get vaccines and treatment to affected communities more quickly. It will allow us to get more data from jurisdictions so we can effectively track and attack this outbreak,” Robert Fenton, This was stated in a briefing by the newly appointed national coordinator of monkeypox control of the White House.
For the past decade, nationwide state of emergency declarations have so far been made only for the COVID-19 pandemic.the and In 2017.
As was done for Covid-19, the official said Becerra’s move to declare a state of emergency could open up flexibility in funding and regulations to respond to the monkeypox outbreak.
The public health emergency declaration could pave the way for the CDC to deploy more staff to respond to the outbreak, officials said, and also force hospitals to share more information to track cases of monkeypox. It will also help clear the way for resources to scale up vaccinations.
Since last week, the administration said it has distributed another 266,000 doses of Jynneos.to states and territories ordering doses. Another 150,000 doses originally scheduled for delivery in October from the Bavarian Nordic vaccine maker have been pushed back to September.
Federal health officials also told reporters they are weighing separate steps that would make it easier for the Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency use authorizations.for monkey pox.
One such approval, first given earlier this week by an official at the National Institutes of Health at a meeting with the World Health Organization, could give vaccinators up to five times the dose by injecting smaller doses “intradermally” into the skin rather than “subcutaneously.” The method is currently approved for Jynneos.
“We feel good about the intradermal approach, and probably in the next few days, in a short period of time, we will make a final decision on this,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf.
Federal health authorities also support millions of long-term doses of Ginneos that were stored years ago and are now being tested by Bavarian Nordic. If deemed viable, the speaker announced to CBS News earlier this month, the doses could be cleared for emergency use.
Officials said they had been mulling the move for weeks as the number of cases surged and demand for firearms far outstripped supply across the country.
The move is being followed by an increasing number of jurisdictions, including severaland also everyone considered the epidemic an emergency.
This week, President Biden also called on officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the CDCFrom the White House.
On Wednesday, the CDC reported at least 6,617 infections nationwide. All but two states — Montana and Wyoming — have seen at least one infection.
“We expect cases to continue to increase because we’ve had more opportunities to test, more people have had more opportunities to get tested before it goes back down,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky reported.
Most infections are still believed to spread through close contact between men and men who have sex. Although no deaths have been reported, patients often become more severerashes and sores that may last up to a week.
The CDC currently estimates that 1.6 million to 1.7 million Americans are in priority groups for the vaccine: people living with HIV, men who have sex with men, and those with high HIV infection.
Doctors also responded to several infections in other groups at high risk of severe diseasethe and .
In addition to freeing up additional leverage in the federal bureaucracy to respond to the outbreak, officials hoped the declaration would raise awareness of the growing epidemic.
“It’s a very clear statement about the value of the lives of people living in the LGBTQ community,” said Dr. Demeter Daskalakis, Deputy White House Monkey Pox Coordinator.
Currently, only about 10% of the country’s monkeypox testing capacity is being used, which equates to about 8,000 monkeypox swabs per week. Officials said they expect an increase in the number of people suspected to have symptoms of monkeypox after the declaration, as well as the number of doctors visiting to test for the disease.
“I think it’s an important commitment by the administration to the community, moving forward and accelerating some of the things we’ve been doing,” Daskalakis said.