Why can’t I get the monkeypox vaccine?

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picture: Mario Tama / Staff (Getty Images)

If you are concerned COVID-19, which is a has no mind before the make sure you are up to date on your vaccines and amplifiers. if it’s a poliomyelitis in New York because you are worriedYou should make sure you received the polio vaccine as a child (if not, it’s not too late to catch up). And when it comes to monkeypox, vaccines do not It is recommended for most people and even if you go looking for it, you may be rejected.

There are two types of monkeypox vaccines

The vaccine we call “monkeypox vaccine” goes by the brand name Jynneos and is the only vaccine officially approved by the FDA for monkeypox. Jynneos is given as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injectionideally in two doses, four weeks apart. It uses a live virus that does not replicate and is considered to have fewer side effects and is safer than its predecessors. The supply of this vaccine is limited.

Another vaccine is ACAM2000. The US has 100 million doses of the vaccine in its national stockpile, so you might think it would be a natural choice to prepare the population for a monkeypox outbreak. Unfortunately, this is a completely different vaccine and is not considered suitable for preventing monkeypox in most people – at least not yet.

Why don’t we use ACAM2000 for monkeypox?

And ACAM2000 will be monkeypox should be used to prevent smallpox (for which it is approved for emergency use), it is primarily a smallpox vaccine. It’s fully approved, so the US is stockpiling it — just in case smallpox comes back naturally or as a biological weapon.

If you’ve ever seen an elderly person showing off a smallpox vaccine scar (or if you’re one of those people), you’ll know where I’m going with this. To be vaccinated with this type of smallpox vaccine, the skin needs to be pricked with a pronged needle until the blood is drawn. Then you develop a sore there, similar to the sores that appear all over the body in a chicken pox infection. If the pustule does not appear within a week, it is necessary to go back and repeat the procedure. It’s gross and painful, but worth the smallpox protection.

ACAM2000 has more frequent and serious side effects than the Jynneos vaccine. It should not be used by people who are pregnant, immunocompromised, or have skin conditions such as eczema. There is also a 1-175 risk of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. Because of all these caveats, it is not suitable for vaccination clinics. This was reported by Voxbut would instead be given at a doctor’s visit after careful consideration of the risks.

Now, what if we have a smallpox epidemic coming up? It makes sense to get ACAM2000 out to as many people as possible. The risk of smallpox would be greater than the risk of the vaccine. But smallpox is a much more serious disease than monkeypox mortality rate up to 30%. (The current strain of monkeypox has a death rate closer to 1%.) The risk/benefit debate is quite different.

So far, public health officials have decided that it’s best to stick with the safer vaccine, even if we don’t have much of it. This may change, but for now, Jyneos is the only vaccine recommended for people at risk of contracting monkeypox.

Why tIt is Jyneos monkey pox vaccine is not enough

Compared to the 100 million doses of ACAM2000, we only have a few hundred thousand doses of Jyneos (including those already used), with more coming soon, but this may still not be enough. The This was reported by the Washington Post There are 1.6 million men considered to be at high risk for monkeypox, so 3.2 million doses are needed (because it’s a two-dose vaccine), but the US has enough vaccine to vaccinate one-third of them.

There are problems with the production and distribution of the vaccine from the manufacturer in Denmark, which has to supply many countries besides us. (If you want to dig into the history behind these supply issues, Here’s the New York Times story about how we couldn’t replace the 20 million doses in the stockpile and here is different How do we say 300,000 doses already owned were stranded abroad due to US government corruption when the epidemic began.)

With limited supply, vaccines are being distributed to people at risk of contracting monkeypox. People who know they have the virus are at the top of the list; If you get the vaccine within the first few days, your immune system will be able to fight off the illness before you become seriously ill. Close contacts of people with monkeypox, and sometimes their relatives, may also be offered the vaccine. in a strategy called ring vaccination. In some places, everyone at high risk is eligible for vaccination.

The exact rules for who is offered the vaccine vary from place to place. If you think you fall into one of the above categories, check with your local or state health department about how to get in line for the monkeypox vaccine.


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