U.S. Slow To Ask For Monkeypox Vaccines, Adding Months To Delivery Schedule: Report

by | Aug 4, 2022 | Politics

The Department of Health and Human Services failed to ask for supplies of a vaccine to contain the growing surge of monkeypox during the early days of the outbreak, prompting deliveries to be pushed back until later this year, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Officials in the Biden administration told the newspaper that by the time the federal government placed orders for the vaccine from a manufacturer in Denmark, the company had already booked in other clients in countries dealing with their own outbreaks of the disease.AdvertisementThe U.S., which has invested more than $1 billion in development of the vaccine, will only be able to distribute about 1.1 million doses over the coming weeks, far short of the 3.5 million health officials say are needed, the Times added. An additional 500,000 doses are expected in the U.S. in October, but millions more on order likely won’t be delivered until sometime in 2023.The U.S. currently has the highest number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the world after the first case was identified in May. There are more than 6,600 known infections, with more than a third of those occurring in New York and California. Cases so far have almost exclusively affected gay and bisexual men, but health officials stress that anyone can contract monkeypox, which is spread mainly through close physical contact.There have been no deaths linked to monkeypox in the U.S.The Biden administration has been criticized for stumbling in its response to the outbreak. The U.S. once had about 20 million doses of the vaccine stockpiled in freezers, but they were allowed to expire without being replenished. Hundreds of thousands of vials were sitting in Denmark in May when the outbreak hit American shores, but it took weeks for the government to request most of them.The delay in delivery is presenting a new struggle that mirrors the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic …

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